TIRUCHY: Beggars from other states are said to have recently migrated here in large numbers looking for better prospects. They say each one can collect at least Rs 1,000 a day in the city.
This keeps the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) personnel on their toes as these beggars mostly carry children. The AHTU had recently rescued 14 children belonging to other states. It is quite common to witness a woman carrying a child or a single woman approaching everyone who passes by in areas, including the Chathiram bus stand, central bus stand, head post office and NSB road, seeking alms.
“They come in large groups, erect tents at Ariyamangalam and Ponmalai areas and stay there for two months or more,” said a police officer with AHTU. Most of them are from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Rajasthan and Bihar. Their modus operandi is to “hire” a kid, which is available here and go around begging in crowded localities. They share a particular location with their associates and stick to the same place for the entire day. Some come as couples and approach the public saying that they lost their belongings in the middle of their journey and need money to return to their destination.
Women with children collect more than the others in the group. They collect a minimum of Rs 1,000 per day and on some days they collect upto Rs 2,000.
AHTU officials have rescued as many as 14 children belonging to other states who were found begging along with women since January 15. Children from Assam, Rajasthan, Bihar and even Nepal were rescued by the AHTU officials and were handed over to Childline.
After the rescue, children would be presented before Child Welfare Committees. The beggars usually leave the place after being warned by the officials following the rescue.