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Title: Institutionalised Able-Bodied Beggers In Bombay
Authors: Choudhary, U.N.
Malik, A.
Shah, R.N.
Keywords: School of Social Sciences
Panakal, J.J.
Issue Date: 1963
Abstract: This study is an attempt. to gat at th e life, the problem and the rehab ilitation prospects of inst itutIon- alised able-bodied male beggars in three institutions: (I) Beggar Home for Males, Gbembur; (ii) Beggar Home for Males, Virar ; iii) Receiving Centre , Worl i. The data regarding the different a spe cts , vi z. personal background, family history, reasons for leaving home, physical and mental condition, situation faced after leaving home, situati on before arrest , meth ods ani manners of be gging, income and mode of spending, life in the institution, and plan after release; have been collected from case records maintained in the institutions an d through interviews with the re sponden is us ing intervi schedules. The 150 respondents who have been in the tnstit uticns for a minimum period of six months have been purposively selected for the study. Nearly three-fourths of the resp olden ts had migrat ed to th a city from rural are as of di fferen t at at es of India. The age range of 90 per cent varied between 20 to 55 years . Seventy per cent were unmarried and 01 per cent had no contact whatsoever with their families. The average family income of 83 per cent was below hundred rupees ii About twenty-six per cent had left homes due to unemployment, 15 per cent because of poverty; and 35 per cent owing to family troubles. As many as 83 per cent had come to the city alone. Slightly less than three-fourths of the respondents admitted begging i•, out of. which 66 per cent had started begging due to unemployment and 15 per cent due to disabilities consequent to some illness or accident. Fifty- two per cent made efforts 4 vo get jobs before taking to begging, but only /Aker cent could succeed in getting even temporary jobs. Of these who got employment, 90 per cent had an income bel hundred rupees per month. However, they could not be at the jobs for long due to the temporary nature of jobs, illness, mal.treatment by employers, etc., and ultimately they drifted to begging. Nead. y sixty-three per cent had started begging right from the date of their arrival in the / city.,( Above sixty-four per cent had to 1 kir e on foot-paths and pavements. Organised group begging was prevalent only among the so-called eunuchs. ' The majority had no preference of tine and place for begging; some who had it were motivated by better earning. Their daily average income was under two rupees. Apart from begging 46 per cent were engaged in odd part-time jobs to supplement their inc ome from begging. They used to spend their income not only on necessary items but also on luxuries, such as drinking, cinema, prostitutes, gambling, etc. iii Nearly twenty-nine per cent had criminal records also, as they had committed offences under the Railway Act (ticketless travelling), offences relating to prohibition, petty theft, etc. There were various programmes in the institutions to equip them for rehabilitation, but they were not very enthusiastic to learn - the - trades and all did not exploit fully the opportunities provided.
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