Local Goa News

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Gang of 150 beggars set up quarters in Curchorem

Margao: People are always puzzled about the origins of the small children begging on the streets of Margao, Ponda, Curchorem and Vasco, who sometimes get irritatingly pushy with their begging. Gangs of these beggars, who even the police have failed to locate, are found to be living in Curchorem.
Nearly 150 beggars have been camping in Moraylem, Curchorem for almost three years now. They leave in a rail to Margao and Vasco and beg in the towns all day. The demand of the locals to inquire in the matter, check the children and drive the entire ghetto of beggars away is gaining momentum now.
This ghetto of beggars has existed behind the Geetanjali building in Moraylem for nearly three years. According to locals, there is no proper information on the owner of the land, but the land may belong to Goan families who have settled in other countries and do not frequently visit the State.
The surprising fact is that even the police have no good idea about their whereabouts and the origins of these people. In the beginning, only four to five camps with an equal number of families lived in this space. Later, the influx of more families started gaining speed, and now there are over 20 families of the beggars on this piece of land.
The modus operandi of these people is to either pick their minor children, some of whom are even seven or eight months old, and venture into the Curchorem market and beg, or catch a train and head to Vasco or Margao to beg. This has become a routine for the women and the children from the ghetto. These women and children are seen in the Vasco-Culem train almost every day at around 7.30 pm.
Curchorkars have demanded an in-depth inquiry into the role and the operation of these women leaders of the beggars.
When these women roam around the towns of Margao and Vasco, they are seen with young children in their arms. On many occasions, the facial features and ages of the women and children do not match. Girls of the age of 15 and 16 also carry kids and go begging around the town. These women generally beg by asking for sympathies for the child they carry.
The ghetto also has some men living in these huts and several other unidentified persons are seen visiting this place daily. The fact is that there is neither information nor an eye on these people going in and out of this ghetto. The people have demanded that before these huts turn into permanent structures, they have to be removed.
According to information, these women are from Gadag, Karnataka, and some are from the Lamani community. These women are reported to be indulging in only begging and no other activity.
“Before these men in the huts become vote banks for politicians, there has to be strict action against them,” said Ashu Naik from Curchorem.
All the women in this clan are in the age group of 20 to 45 and the girls are in the age of 12 to 15 years. The elderly women can be seen going around with photos of gods and goddesses near the Kadamba bus stand in Curchorem and near the petrol pump. On Saturdays and Sundays, they disguise themselves as astrologers and extract money from people in the garb of spelling out their futures to them.
This ghetto does not even any toilets or a cleanliness system. A nullah constructed by the Curchorem municipality has become their toilet, where they defecate daily. The Health Department or health officers have neither kept an eye on this menace nor taken any action. The sanitation section of the Curchorem municipality has not even seen this illegal settlement of beggars.
Like this ghetto, there were several such hutments near the Curchorem municipality and near the Shivaji Chowk, which have automatically been rehabilitated. Now, musical instrument sellers and bamboo product sellers stay near Shivaji Chowk.

Herald Goa News

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