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Woman in Indore earns Rs 2.5 lakh in 45 days through begging, arrested for forcing kids into alms collection

In a startling revelation, the arrest of Indra Bai in Indore has exposed a lucrative begging operation, bringing to light the grim reality of a begging syndicate involving children.

Woman in Indore earns Rs 2.5 lakh in 45 days through begging, arrested for forcing kids into alms collection snt
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First Published Feb 13, 2024, 11:39 AM IST

Indra Bai, a repeat offender, was apprehended in Indore for compelling her children into begging, leading to a startling revelation by officials. She acquired a plot of land, a two-storeyed house, a motorcycle, a smartphone valued at Rs 20,000, and a substantial sum of Rs 2.5 lakh within a six-week period through this exploitative practice. Following her arrest, Indra was promptly booked for begging and forcing her children into the crime, subsequently being remanded to jail on Monday.

During the intervention, one of her daughters was entrusted to the care of an NGO. In a conversation with volunteers from NGO Sanstha Pravesh while being removed from the streets with her seven-year-old daughter, Indra Bai defended her actions, contending that begging was a preferable alternative to starvation and theft.

Rupali Jain, a volunteer with the NGO collaborating with the Indore Municipal Corporation to aid in the rehabilitation of beggars, disclosed that they have been compiling data on approximately 7,000 beggars, with half of them being children, across 38 major squares in Indore. In an interview with TOI, she further revealed that a preliminary assessment suggests these beggars collectively amass over Rs 20 crore annually.

Indra, besides her seven-year-old daughter, has four other children aged 10, 8, 3, and 2. She strategically positioned her older children at the bustling Luv Kush Square in Indore, strategically located where roads diverge toward Ujjain, the site of the Mahakal temple.

Indra explained to authorities that she selected this intersection because it served as a transit point for pilgrims traveling to Ujjain. She noted that worshippers en route to offer prayers were less likely to turn away children and women soliciting alms, particularly given the increased foot traffic following the construction of Mahakal Lok.

Officials reported that the daily influx of devotees surged from approximately 2,500 before the construction to a staggering 1.75 lakh after its completion.

On February 9th, Indra's lucrative endeavor came to an abrupt halt when she was apprehended for begging alongside her daughter, while her husband and two elder children absconded.

Authorities confiscated Rs 19,600 from Indra and Rs 600 from her daughter. Indra disclosed that she amassed Rs 2.5 lakh in the 45 days leading up to her arrest.

She further revealed ownership of a two-storeyed house and agricultural land near Kota, Rajasthan. Additionally, she mentioned possessing a quality smartphone, while her husband was known to ride a motorcycle, all acquired through her begging activities.

Indra Bai's arrest has brought to the forefront the urgent need to dismantle the begging syndicate, protect the rights of vulnerable children, and address the root causes that lead individuals and families to resort to such criminal activities. The revelation serves as a stark reminder of the challenges faced by authorities in tackling organized begging networks, urging a comprehensive approach to both enforcement and rehabilitation efforts.

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