Bengaluru: Stop giving money to beggars, say campaigners | Bengaluru News – Times of India

BENGALURU: Beggars seeking alms at traffic junctions is increasingly becoming a common sight across the city. But there is a group that is silently countering this menace by creating awareness among motorists about the flip side of giving money to beggars.
“If you want to stop human trafficking and end kidnap of children and the elderly, then stop giving money to beggars,” plead members of a group named Bengaluru Huduguru, which is opposing cartels that have been discreetly promoting beggars in the city. The 30-member group is led by 36-year-old Vinod Kartavya, engineer with an aeronautical establishment and a resident of Sampangiramanagar.
He and his team have been standing at busy traffic junctions for nine weeks carrying placards with appeals on not to distribute money among beggars. In fact, his group was in the spotlight earlier for running a campaign that aimed at freeing trees of nails and banners.
On why they were focussing on beggary, Vinod told TOI: “I was returning home when I found a woman holding a baby and begging at the traffic signal near MG Road. When the baby started crying, the irked woman stepped aside, pulled out a cloth that was laced with some chemical and forced the baby to sniff it by placing it near the nose. The baby went to sleep and the woman resumed begging. When I questioned the woman about what she did, she started hurling expletives and silenced me. I realised that children were being sedated to appeal to the emotions of motorists.” The incident spurred him into action.
“We volunteers started our campaign on August 15 with the hope of freeing the city and country of beggars. We started from Town Hall Junction and have carried out weekly campaigns at nine traffic signals,” he said. Alleging that there is a mafia that is behind deployment of beggars at different traffic junctions, Bengaluru Hudugaru has been requesting people not to make the mafia stronger by giving money to beggars.
Prem, a volunteer, asked: “Why should children be selling roses, pens and earbuds at traffic junctions when the government provides free meals and education? Beggars earn thousands of rupees per day because of the pity shown by people.”

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Sagar Biswas

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