Violence Within Concern

November 3, 2010 at 9:15 AMNov (Activism, Media, Musings, Slice Of Life, Soliloquy)

Warden of the Nirashritara Parichara Kendra Ashok Shetty welcoming me to the Kendra said that according to the Abolition of Beggary Act of 1975 beggary is not allowed and hence the people of Movement for Social Life and Human Rights took the initiative to arrest the beggars and hand them over to the Kendra. The beggars were caught by MSLHR with the help of the students of social work of various institutes of Mangalore on March 11.

As Ashok was telling me that the beggars who do not get released by their family or relatives will be trained in certain skills which will help them to make a living and quit begging, a girl entered the room saying she was the daughter of Selvaraju and had come to take him back. Selvaraj, said his daughter Jayalakshmi, in spite of being asked not to beg would beg everyday to accumulate the money required for his alcohol. Releasing Selvaraju Ashok took me around the Kendra where I came face-to-face with the beggars who were caught the previous day.

Noor Muhammed a handicapped who was caught near a Darga speaking philosophically about how “everything is a gift from Allah but it comes through someone else. When people give you something it means that Allah has answered you, but in disguise” conveys at a metaphysical level that he was not begging. But soon he is pulled down by gravitation and says, “I have small kids at home to take care of, so please set me free” and adds to it “If you don’t let me free from here then give it to me in writing that you will take care of the education of my children and also promise me that if I die you will burry me.”

Venkata Subbanna a 70 year old man kept following us as we kept moving forward in the Kendra meeting various beggars. Venata Subbanna, who was arrested near town hall, at one point came before us and joining his hands pleaded to set him free for he had to attend the wedding of his grandson on March 27. He also bent down to hold the feet of Ashok.

An Assamee female named Raja Bola Suri in her initial refusal to speak expressed her anger about her being brought to the Kendra. Then when asked what brought her to this part of the country from Assam she said, “There was no work over there so I came here.” Another female named Hanumanthamma said she was arrested while she was begging, for the sake of her daughter’s food and said “I am not a full time beggar please take me out from this place.”

I retold myself what Harsh Mander Sir once told me “Love should also become our politics” with reference to laws and rules not being enough to solve certain human problems as I was walking out of the Kendra and also told myself THERE CAN BE VIOLENCE WITHIN CONCERN ALSO.

12 April 2009

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