As Ramadan begins, non-local beggars swarm Kashmir

Irk commuters, shoppers, pedestrians

Srinagar, May 22: The non-local beggars have again flocked to Srinagar during the sacred month of Ramadan, taking advantage of the Muslim ruling to give donations during the month.

The non-local beggars including men, women, old and children usually place themselves at footpaths, four ways and shopping malls.

Women from distant lands can be seen holding small babies in their arms at virtually every busy intersection of the capital city pleading before motorists for alms.

“These non-local beggars have made lives of local population miserable. They irritate us at every moment,” a resident of Koker Bazar told Kashmir News Service (KNS).

He said that these non-local beggars mostly rush to the Valley in the month of Ramadan. “In this holy month, Muslims give away a part of their earnings as charity to the poor and needy people so, they come and take its advantage,” he said.

“Ironically, most of the child beggars who come here with their parents are registered as tourists while they are annual summer visitors to Kashmir. They leave the valley with the first snowfall each year,” said a delegation of residents from Mehjoor Nagar area.

The number of non-local beggars is too high in the city that they are seen mostly at tourist places, mosques, shrines, bus stands and traffic signals.

Shopkeepers around the city centre, Lal Chowk, blame the authorities for their failure to curb the growing menace.

“In spite of being sufficiently armed with laws, the non-local beggars are roaming around shops that irk the customers. It has affected our business,” said a shopkeeper at Lal Chowk.
The crowd of such people usually comes in the month of April and left the valley in the month of October and November.

Every year hundreds of beggars from outside the state throng the valley in Ramadan and as well in the tourist season. A majority of them have set up colonies of tents on the outskirts of the city. (KNS)

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