Streets cleared of beggars ahead of visit by president’s daughter
Officials have been strictly enforcing a begging ban in public places.
The crackdown seems to working, with most of Hyderabad’s thousands of beggars vanishing from sight.
Ms Trump is a senior adviser to her father, US President Donald Trump. Later this month, she is scheduled to speak at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit in Hyderabad, which will also be attended by Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Officials said the drive against begging was launched because two international events were taking place in the city – the entrepreneurship summit and the World Telugu Conference next month.
Begging is a criminal offence in India, punishable by as much as 10 years in prison, although the law is rarely enforced.
The beggars are rounded up from road junctions, bus stations and railway stations and taken to shelters, where they are often separated from relatives.
They are given clean clothes, a shower and a bed. But they are also fingerprinted and told they could be jailed if they are found begging again.
More than 20% of India’s 1.3 billion people live on less than two dollars (about £1.50) a day. For many, begging offers a last resort to stay alive.
The entrepreneurship summit is an annual event that this year will focus on supporting female entrepreneurs. Running from November 28-30, it is jointly hosted by the US and India.
Next month, police will start offering cash rewards to people who tell of a beggar’s location. A control room has been set up to process the information.
This is not the first time the poor and homeless have been targeted by India.
Ahead of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, slums were demolished and thousands of beggars pushed to the edge of the city.