In India, there’s a concept of the Govt. providing a minimum support price for various crops that are grwon in the country. This is done to protect the interests of farmers who will get a base price no matter how low the demand might be. Taking a cue from that, it seems that beggars in Bangladesh are asking for something from their Govt. according to a news article.
A group of beggars in northern Bangladesh are lobbying local politicians to set a minimum rate that people can give them because they are struggling with spiralling inflation, an official said Monday.
Kurigram council chairman Abubakr Siddiqui said about 40 beggars — most of them disabled — held a rally in the town at the weekend to raise awareness about their plight.
“They demanded the local council fix the minimum rate of alms at one taka (1.45 cents). At the moment most people who give them money give between 10 and 50 paisa (0.15 to 0.70 cents),” he said.
Siddiqui said as well as setting a minimum rate, the group also wanted the council to ban beggars from outside the town from encroaching on their territory.
“They say the soaring cost of food is taking its toll. Their daily collection is not enough to buy adequate food for their families,” he said.
“We cannot stop the entry of outsiders into the town. Any Bangladeshi has the right to come here.”
Hundreds of thousands of people depend on begging for their income in Bangladesh, where some 40 percent of the total 144 million population earn less than a dollar a day.
An average beggar in the capital Dhaka, home to some 27,000 beggars, earns about 100 taka a day, enough to buy three kilograms of rice (6.6 pounds), according to a 2005 survey. Beggars in regional towns earn much less.