Over hundred local, non-local beggars shifted to shelter homes: DC
Despite the ban on begging, the menace continues to irk the people in Srinagar as a large number of non-local beggars can be seen begging for alms.
With the coming of Ramadhan the number of beggars, both local and non-local has increased sharply in the Srinagar city. Non-local beggars can be normally seen in groups, comprising of womenfolk holding their babies to gain sympathy.
The beggars could be seen seeking alms at the traffic signals and also ride into the public transport vehicles leaving people hassled. The non-local beggars who are mostly found indulging in drug abuse and pick-pocketing have proliferated raising concern among the people.
Non-local beggars could be seen at all major places in the city including commercial hub, Lal Chowk, Dal-Gate, Khanyar, Nowhatta, Sanat Nagar, Hyderpora, Nowgam Bypass, Rambagh, Jawahar Nagar, LD Hospital Crossing, Boulevard, Jehangir Chowk, Batamaloo and many other areas.
A student Shahid Bashir said, “In the commercial hub these beggars seek alms from the people especially students, who feel irked. Government should take strict action against them, to prevent this public nuisance” he said.
Earlier, District Magistrate Srinagar, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, in exercise of powers vested in him under the Jammu and Kashmir Prevention of Beggary (JKPB) Act 1960, issued an order directing immediate arrest of persons found soliciting alms at public places.
The order is aimed at ensuring implementation of provisions of the JKPB Act prohibiting soliciting of alms at public places.
Despite the order a huge number of non-local beggars can be seen begging for alms in the city.
In many places, they come with cards seeking help in kind or cash in a modern way.
A group of women beggars who beg at Hazratbal area carry cards written in English and Hindi. They usually board a bus and then distribute these cards to seek help in cash or kind among passengers, after a minute or two they collect these cards and deboard the bus.
Some of the beggars can be seen making rounds of localities, which alarms the residents.
They enter compounds of homes without seeking permission, which makes it unsafe for the residents.
“Nowadays they don’t take a coin and rather demand a note. They even chase you,” said locals.
Talking to Rising Kashmir Deputy commissioner Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary said, “They have shifted around 100 non-local beggars into shelter homes established at Nishat and Pantha Chowk where they are provided basic facilities.”
“We have also approved one shelter home for urban homeless at the cost of 25 lakh rupees,” he said.
Beggars are in a huge number and probably it will take some time to send them back to their respective states.
“We will be deporting these non-local beggars out of the state by providing them some financial assistance and train tickets to their homes, which will de-motivate other beggars who are planning to turn to valley,” Shahid said.