World of India!: How much do Beggars earn in India? e

World of India!

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How much do Beggars earn in India?

Kalyan who runs a popular blog has a good post (Hat tip : P.Anand) which tries to estimate how much beggars earn in Bangalore. He estimates that a beggar on M.G.Road in Bangalore would earn about Rs.24,000/- per month which is a little less that what a highly skilled white collar professional would earn.

Kalyan writes:

"12:09pm: Economics of Begging in Bangalore
Lately, I have been observing the beggars at all the traffic junctions in Bangalore when I'm stuck for a long time in traffic. I've noticed a very important pattern.

At any big traffic junction, the traffic at the signal has to wait anywhere from 120 to 180 seconds these days. A beggar can cover at least 30 vehicles in this time and at least 1 in 5, give the beggars some money. This money these days is anywhere from Rs 1 to Rs 5. I've even seen a guy give out Rs 100 to a beggar.

So at a 3 min traffic light junction, a beggar can make anywhere from Rs 5 to Rs 20. Even if we assume the lower limit, in an hour a beggar makes Rs 5 * 60/3 = Rs 100. If he/she works for 8 hours a day like most of us, he/she will make Rs 800/day.. and that's about Rs 24,000 / month.

Now Rs 24,000 / month is lot more money than what most fresh software engineers get paid these days. The beggars don't even have to worry about tax on the money they make.

Who says the money in Bangalore does not trickle down to the poor :)
Current Mood: amused"

While I don't dispute Kalyan's observations, we must still keep in mind the fact that most beggars in India are run by mafia syndicates, who usurp the majority of their earnings.So the 'real' earnings are probably a small fraction of this mind boggling figure. More importantly how many beggars can beg on M.G Road? Only those who are under the 'protection' of the mafia and the police and have 'bought' rights to that particular territory.

And what trials and tribulations do these people have to undergo to earn their keep? Rain, scorching sun, police lathis are the easy part. CNN-IBN recently reported on how the the begging mafia operates in collusion with a network of doctors to chop off healthy limbs of beggars.

Moral of the story? Don't envy your neighbourhood beggar- yet! : )


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