Number of beggars in Karachi exceeds 150,000 as police fail to take legal action

KARACHI: The number of beggars in Karachi has exceeded 150,000 as police failed to take legal action against the illegal profession in the metropolis.

With the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a large number of professional beggars captured the roads and markets of the metropolis and having a roaring business.

Mostly women carrying infants in their laps, old age people and children are seen begging in the busy shopping areas like Saddar, Clifton, super and commercial markets which irritates the visitors but the administration seems failed to purge the issue.

According to a survey conducted by MM News, there are more than 1.5 lakh beggars present in the city and they have come to Karachi especially from different parts of Sindh and Punjab.

During the survey, it was revealed that 16 to 17 groups of beggars in different parts of the city bring people from Sindh and Punjab to beg on daily wages. On normal days, these beggars are paid a daily wage of 800 to 1,000 rupees, while in Ramadan; they are paid up to 2,000 rupees.

Since March 19, 2019, 7766 beggars have been arrested and handed over to Edhi Foundation while 511 beggars have been arrested and sent to jail under various cases. So far, 184 cases have been registered against beggars.

Last year, Additional IG Karachi Ghulam Nabi Memon had formed a special team against beggars, but the 12- to 14-member team failed to take effective action against beggars in the city.

Sources said that professional beggars created inconvenience for commuters and also caused hurdles for vehicular traffic, but authorities seemed to fail to take effective action to purge the issue.

Professional beggars could be witnessed everywhere especially in Ramadan but shopping areas mosques and traffic signals are amongst the choicest business locations for them sources said.

The profession was becoming a social menace and many beggars including physically fit men, women and children were turning towards this profession considering it a profitable business with the help of relevant police in these areas, sources added.