Monday, September 24, 2007


"Inside a tiny courtroom buzzing with flies, a police officer stands before a judge and carefully unfolds a white handkerchief. The damning evidence inside: 13 coins worth about 30 cents. He says he found them in the pockets of Shanni Ram Ganga, a hunched man standing next to him facing a sentence of one to three years. Ganga's alleged crime: begging. Beggars crowd every sidewalk in India, yet panhandling is illegal, so a separate judicial system exists just for those accused of pleading for coins in public. More than 1,400 people are serving sentences in beggars' homes — rundown facilities often little better than prisons, critics say — and that number is expected to rise as the government "cleans up" the Indian capital to host the Commonwealth Games, a major sports competition, in 2010....There are some 60,000 beggars in New Delhi, most earning 50-100 rupees a day, not much less than the working poor, according to a recent government-commissioned study on beggars. Many are handicapped." (Yahoo News, 15 September)
Yes this is New Delhi part of the new vibrant Indian capitalism that we are told about. RD

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