Oct 3, 2008

India - English speaking beggars on prowl in Delhi Streets

NEW DELHI: They come to you dressed in rags but will take you by surprise with their perfect accent and mastery of the Queen's language as you walk through Connaught Place in the heart of the national capital. They are the modern English-speaking beggars who would not ask for money or food but will hit at your conscience by asking you to buy them medicines which they "badly need". While some pay few rupees to get away, many got cornered by the "emotional blackmail" and would actually agree to buy the medicine provided they do it themselves. And so, the beggars take their "unsuspecting victims" to the nearby chemist's shop from where they buy the medicines. Overwhelmed by the feel-good factor of having helped their fellowmen in need, the victims walk away with a clean conscience little did they know that they are duped. "That's exactly how I felt. But somehow, I suspect later that something was amiss. When inquired, I found out that the shopowner has a tie-up with the beggars. Their modus operandi -- the beggars brought back the medicine intact and get half the money of the cost price from the chemists," Ajit Dubey, a marketing executive and a victim of such a trap, said. "I spent Rs 270 to buy one fellow an inhaler but later the guards nearby said the beggar usually makes a fool of foreigners by his sob stories and many even take out money from the ATM to give him," Dubey said.

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