Begging in India has been an age-old issue. Country’s poor, who are usually unable to get jobs, have to take up begging for earning livelihood. The government has come out with the total number of beggars in the country. As per the data released by Union ministry of Social Justice, there are around 4 lakh beggars in total.
The highest number of beggars, 81,000, are in West Bengal. Lakshadweep, a union territory, has only two people begging for their livelihood. West Bengal is followed by Uttar Pradesh and Bihar at number two and three respectively. The figures were given by Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot in a written reply to Lok Sabha.
The government data show there are lesser number of beggars in Union Territories. While Lakshadweep has only two beggars, Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and the Andaman and Nicobar islands have only 19, 22 and 56 beggars respectively. Among the union territories, New Delhi had the largest number of beggars 2,187 followed by 121 in Chandigarh. Among the northeastern states, Asam topped the chart with 22,116 beggars, while Mizoram ranked low with 53 beggars.
West Bengal, topping the chart with 81,224 beggars, was followed by Uttar Pradesh (65,835), Andhra Pradesh (30,218), Bihar (29,723). Madhya Pradesh ( 28,695) and Rajasthan (25,853) are at number five and six in the list.