PUDUCHERRY: The Union Territory witnessed an unprecedented influx of tourists for New Year. However, its not just tourists who are thronging here, but beggars in large numbers have also descended upon the French town, hoping to prick the pity of tourists and make a good earning.
Tourists numbering between 1.3 lakh and 1.5 lakh, both national and international, came to Puducherry between December 31 and January 1, which augurs well for the UT, said R Mounisamy, Tourism Director.
Targeting these tourists, the beggars have stationed themselves at places frequented by tourists.
“Beggars are present in large numbers this year and many are not from Puducherry,” said a constable on duty at Sri Manakula Vinayagar Temple. In fact, some of them are young women, who beg with a child in their arms. Those without a child, pretend carrying one to arouse sympathy and get alms.
“Some of the beggars make a bundle of cloth that resemble a baby and put it in their hanging bag,” said the constable. They pester people until they get alms. Most come in the morning and return in the evening.
The police who have been working round the clock to maintain law and order have not been able to turn their attention towards the begging menace. Local beggars are resisting the inflow of outstation beggars as it will reduce their income.