Hyderabad’s Begging Ban: Does Ban of Begging for Beautification Prioritize Over Ending Poverty Altogether?

It’s very common for a nation to decorate the city whenever any global meets is scheduled or whenever foreign delegates, ministers or celebrities step foot into. And it’s nothing new in India too. Roads are cleaned, manholes are closed, drains are covered and anything that looks unhealthy, unhygienic and that shows the lack of infrastructure is immediately repaired.

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This year, the ban has been on begging by the Hyderabad police all before the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Summit. The Hyderabad Police’s special drive is to make the city beggar-free. Though the move is taken for some better cause, the real motive behind the step remains a question. Whether it’s for the betterment of the society or it’s just a cosmetic step for mere beautification?

Hundreds of beggars have been taken down from the streets to the rehabilitation centres in the jail. Taking into consideration the smooth movement on road which is generally hampered by the beggars on the street. Notification has been issued by the state government of Hyderabad which says, “Indecent acts of begging are causing a nuisance and obstruction to vehicular traffic and public order.” And what’s more concerning is the scam behind the begging scenario. “Children and handicapped persons are being employed to solicit or receive alms at main junctions of the roads. Such acts are causing annoyance and awkwardness by exposing in an indecent manner to divert the attention of the vehicular traffic as well as the pedestrians and public, in general, to induce them to give alms. These acts are dangerous to the safety of the vehicular traffic and public in general.”

This prohibition orders are valid only for two months, most probably till 7th of January. US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump along with other delegates are about to arrive in Hyderabad in the last week of November to attend Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

On the notice, the Hyderabad City Commissioner of Police M Mahendar Reddy said, “In excise of the powers conferred upon me under Section 144 of criminal procedure code 1973, I, M Mahendar Reddy, Commissioner of Police, Hyderabad City, do hereby make this exparte written order and notify the same to the general public prohibiting alms in public places and at the main road junctions in the city of Hyderabad.”

Any person who violates the rule shall be liable for punishment under Section 188 of the Indian Penal Code as per the provisions of Hyderabad City Police Act.

The initiative is proper and justifiable. But it still raises some serious eyebrows. Isn’t it just a temporary face-washing of the city? And what about eradicating the entire scam behind the act of begging and employing children and handicapped people in that business? Will taking the entire section of underprivileged and the poor into for rehabilitation in a jail solve the actual problem of poverty? And what’s after the summit, are they again be left on the street, let alone surviving on the tips they get?

The government should take ample measure to clean the city by eliminating the root cause of what led to the act of begging.


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