According to the last data collected by the Indian census, our country has over 4,00,000 beggars. 81,000 of these reportedly were in West Bengal, 65,835 in Uttar Pradesh, 29,723 in Andhra Pradesh and 28,695 in Madhya Pradesh.
And while begging continues to be considered illegal and, therefore a crime, under the Indian Penal Code, India reportedly has a whole 'begging industry' worth $1.5 billion. Sounds, unbelievable right?
Here are some of the most famous beggars across different cities of our country.
1. Bharat Jain
51-year-old Bharat reportedly operates at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus or Azad Maidan. He's said to be one of the richest beggars in India and he supposedly earns nearly ₹75,000 a month. He also owns two apartments each valued at ₹70,00,000, according to reports.
2. Sarvatia Devi
She's said to be one of the more prominent beggars living behind Ashok Cinema in Patna. Apparently, she earns ₹50,000 each month and pays an annual insurance premium of ₹36,000.
3. Sambhaji Kale
He's often seen begging around Khar region in Mumbai. Apart from begging professionally, Kale also owns some real estate in Solapur. He has a few investments and apparently a bank balance of over half a lakh.
4. Krishna Kumar Gite
Gite reportedly begs in the Charni Road area of Mumbai and is said to own an apartment valued at ₹5,00,000. He apparently earns approximately ₹1,500 a day.
5. Laxmi Das
Originally, reported to be hailing from Kolkata, she is said to have started begging at the early age of 16. Apparently, she earns close to ₹30,000 a month.
Said to be spotted around Mumbai's upmarket Andheri area, Massu reportedly starts begging around 8 in the evening and into the wee hours of the morning. He is said to earn anywhere between ₹1,000 to ₹1,500 on average, every day. Aside from his 1 BHK flat at Amboli in Andheri West, he is said to own a flat in Andheri East, too. .
7. Pappu Kumar
Apparently, Kumar from Patna has assets worth ₹1.25 crores. After fracturing his leg in an accident, Pappu started begging on Patna's rail platforms to make a living. He is said to be spotted begging on the platforms of the Patna Railway Station, despite having been removed by the police, time and again.
8. Burju Chandra Azad
Azad supposedly had a fixed deposit of ₹8.77 lakhs and around ₹1.5 lakhs in cash, in his residence, in Govandi. All of his assets were discovered by the Mumbai police after he lost his life in an accident while crossing the railway tracks in 2019.
Mumbai: A fixed deposit of Rs 8.77 lakhs & around Rs 1.5 lakhs of cash (mostly coins) recovered by police from the residence of a beggar Burju Chandra Azad in Govandi, who died in an accident while trying to cross a railway track. pic.twitter.com/44ICDXnXTM