Delhi’s underbelly: ‘80% kids forced into begging by parents’
For a number of child beggars in the city, begging is a part-time job since they also manage to do street-vending and ragpicking. More than 57% child beggars stated this in a survey conducted by the Delhi Commission for Protection of Child Rights (DCPCR).
Even as police hint at an organised racket, this study on such minors reveals a sorry tale as 80% children were forced into begging by their parents. NGOs, however, pointed out that these people might not be their parents as there is no documentary proof to suggest that. Children involved in begging told the workers that they were beaten by the police if they begged and by their families if they didn’t.
Most of them couldn’t afford three meals a day and 50% of them were addicted to substance abuse. “It is a significant observation that 56.9% child beggars in addition to begging were also involved in other activities for earning. They would spend only 3-4 hours begging and spend their remaining time in other activities. Ragpicking was the most popular occupation followed by street-vending. In this study we came across some children who admitted that they were involved in petty criminal activities such as pick-pocketing,” the report released by DCPCR said.
According to the report, earnings of the children varied from less than 30 to over 250 per day and most of them tend to give either all or most of their earnings to parents/caregivers, keeping only 5-20 for snacks or transport.
The study undertook a rapid headcount survey to assess the number of beggars in Delhi and conducted
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