Enjoy flexible working hours, work for just 3-4 hours , and pocket Rs 500 daily per day that too without doing anything other than sitting comfortably in one place! In case you are trying to make a wild guess on this cushy , white collar job, you could be in for a surprise as we are not talking about any ordinary job but begging! Going by the turn of events , it seems that begging has become a lucrative part time job for many to rake in a few extra mullah at their free hours. Before shrugging this piece of news as silly, read on to find how it begging has come a long way from being a poor man’s sustenance to a rich man’s profession and a menace in the modern world.
A pilot study conducted by the Kerala State Social Security Mission in cities including Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode and suburbs in May this year. found that begging around religious places has become the latest fad in Kerala. Begging is an attractive option for many as it ensures a steady income of around 200-500 rupees every day, well complimented by free meals provided by the religious places and limited working hours. The fact that alms givers prefer bills between Rs.2 and Rs. 10 instead of coins unlike in the past, which has made it all the more rosy and irresistible!
Don’t be startled in case you see any familiar faces among the beggars making a long queue in front of the religious places as it is very much possible that you might bump across your neighbor or well heeled colleague too one day. Recently an employee of BSNL who was on leave was spotted begging in front of a temple in Thiruvananthapuram. “We traced his house and found that he took a long unauthorised break from work to engage in begging,” said Major Dinesh Bhaskaran, regional director of Kerala State Social Security Mission who was one of the investigators.
Begging might well be banned in the cities, which has greatly reduced the number of poor people on the roads seeking alms to feed their hungry mouths; now begging has become a well organised business and a lucrative profession of the able bodied!
From June 30, 2011 onwards 25 paise coins will be out of circulation and will not be accepted in any transactions. The rising inflation has caused the untimely exit of the 25 paise coins, which incurs a higher manufacturing cost than its value and this will make 50 ps the smallest denomination in India.
However it is interesting to note that Kerala had chucked out these small value coins a long time back. Board a bus and the conductor conveniently forgets to return the 25 paise after taking the fare unless you tender the exact fare. Alms – seekers have long hiked their minimum expected dole to 50 paise. While revising bus fares also Kerala opted for a 50 Ps hike conveniently forgetting the smaller denomination option.
The auto drivers would let go a rupee from a passenger rather than accepting four 25 paise coins and if you only have smaller coins, then be prepared to be at his wrath. Try telling him that the Reserve Bank still mints them, you will get nothing in response except probably a blank stare or a wry smile that would convey his anguish in having to ferry a passenger like you. However the irony is that 100 rupees worth 25 paise coins would fetch you 160 rupees as the steel can be melted out for other purposes!
As 25 paise gets ready to make a disgraceful exit of sorts, the old timers recall about the golden past where 25 paise would have fetched you a movie ticket , a brilliant shoe shine or even your favorite samosa among many other things in life! 25 paise was not a measly figure a few decades back but the inflation has indeed caused its death knell.
Now these dainty coins will make way into the coin boxes of the numismatics and to the museum shelves , where these coins will be preserved for posterity. For many of us, 25 paise might not mean much but for the older generation, it would indeed evoke nostalgic memories of a prosperous past, and for the generation- next, it will just be a hear say or a fable!