Dhaka: 50,000+ homeless beggars in Bangladesh capital FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Sun, 21 Mar 1999 09:42:11 -0800 (PST)

FWD  Reuters - Friday March 19, 1999


DHAKA, March 18 (Reuters) - The seedy Bangladesh
capital Dhaka is home to at least 50,000 beggars, municipal
officials said on Thursday.

``The numbers are going up every day with more homeless,
jobless people flooding into the city,'' one official said.

``In fact the 50,000 beggars support a much bigger
population by providing indirect livelihood,'' one official
told Reuters.

``Beggars give a portion of their income to people who
secure a place for them beside a road or under a leafy tree,''
said the official, who asked not to be named.

Teenager Abdul Alim begs outside the Dhaka Sheraton
Hotel and pleads to passers-by: ``Give me some coins, I am
hungry. God will bless you.''

Alim said his daily income often totals 50 taka (about $1),
but he keeps little of his earnings for himself.

``I have no family but someone helps me come here every
day, another brings me food and the other allows me to
sleep under a shed -- all for money,'' he said, adding he
could not reveal the identities of the people.

``They can be dangerous if their identities are disclosed,'' he


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