Begging or conning?
Yesterday, Samata and I were at a coffee shop near the Raghavendra Matha in Jayanagar 5th block. While waiting for our drink to arrive, my attention went towards the nearby traffic signal. As usual, I got into the mode of observing the violations that were occuring at the signal. Almost every signal turning from green to red led to a couple of “jumps”. On a sunday with hardly any traffic, people still couldn’t resist the temptation of disregarding the signal and jumping ahead.
At one corner of the signal, I spotted a beggar. His red shirt made him very evident on that junction. The guy was crawling on the road. Every time, the signal turned red and vehicles started to accumulate, he would crawl on the road using his hands and beg from the motorists. It was indeed a very pitiable sight. People were getting very disturbed seeing his plight and were offering “Bhiksha” generously. I captured a photo of this beggar. Take a look.
The beggar used to cover about 15-20 vehicles in one attempt. After a while, I started noticing that every time the signal turned red, the guy used to start from the same location – the beginning of the zebra crossing. I started to wonder how he made it back to the same location every time, and so quickly at that. I kept my eyes on the same guy and the result – take a look at the below photo!
He was coolly walking back to his “crease”. The guy had a minor issue with his right leg. He was able to stand upright. He covered a distance of about 50m in less than 10 seconds.
Every time a vehicle came early to the junction and stopped before he took his position, he would avoid begging in that instance, lest the people questioned him. He would begin his job during the next iteration.
I wonder how the people around – the shopkeepers and others are turning a blind eye to this blatant con job. The guy is in a pretty good condition and can definitely do other jobs for a living. Perhaps the income from this business is just too good for him to switch to a real job. I observed him for about 15 mins and easily walked at least a kilometer in that time. Surely, he cannot be physically weak if he could walk that much, and at that pace.
This incident just reinforced my strong belief that most of the beggars in Bangalore are crooks and cons. Beware of them! Show them no mercy! Discouraging them is a small way of helping our city get rid of this menace.