Kashmir is like Dubai for beggars

By Showkeen Mir,Agence India Press,

Srinagar: If you ever have heard of non local beggars calling Kashmir as the ‘Dream destination to Beg’? then Imtiyaz a 35-year-old professional beggar from Bihar who had been visiting Kashmir from the past two years can explain it better.

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Accompanied by another person from Uttar Pradesh, Imtiyaz praises Kashmiri’s who, according to him, are generous in giving money.

“My daughter is suffering from cancer that is why I am begging in Kashmir,” Imtiyaz said adding people here are benevolent and pay them readily.

“Two years back I heard Bihari’s in my village saying that Kashmir is just like Dubai and one could make good money easily and so I decided to come here,” Clad in a torn black blanket, Imtiyaz rambles around one place of the Srinagar city.

He said he is satisfied with his earnings in this particular area of city.“ I am earning good at this place,” he said.

Meanwhile the people who have to pass by daily said they are forced to pay to the ‘smart Beggars’ who have devised novel methods to extract money from people,“.

“Bus stops, hospitals, schools and government offices are the major places where those beggars have made their hubs, one can easily find these non local beggars everywhere,” Asim Javed who has to scuffle daily with the beggars on way to office told Agence India Press,“

“The movement we board a bus these people, usually small children, ask for alms. They don’t leave you until you pay them,” he said, adding that they even crack jokes and abuse if one refuses to pay them.

There are another section of beggars they carry along with them printed cards to appeals for donation. “They distribute these cards and after that come again and demand alms,” Saba, a college student said.

Their most targets to beg are couples. Locals as well as non local beggars do not leave couples, as the latter find it embarrassing not to give any money to those beggars. The modus operandi employed is simple repeat ‘Khuda Tumari Jodi Salamat Rakhe,’ (May God Bless you Couple) several times and get the needful without any hassle.

“Whenever they find any couple sitting in the vehicle, they intrude and get off with a ten rupee note,” smiles Tahir Hassan, a college student said. No wonder people hate these beggars, but some people commend their management skills.

“They are earning more than a shopkeeper,” Abdul Rashid, a local shopkeeper told Agence India Press.

“In their family every one works from a separate place and do not criss cross boundaries. People here can learn management lessons from them,” he added.