Beggar Colony Fact Finding Report

Topics: Human rights, Hospital, Begging Pages: 28 (10398 words) Published: August 31, 2013
A fact-finding report
on the situation & deaths
at the Beggars’ Colony (Magadi Road),
& Isolation Ward, Indiranagar, Bangalore

Conducted by

St. Joseph’s College,
SICHREM,
Indian Social Institute,
Sangama,
& Global Concern, India, Ananya
The Concerned for Working Children,

With Inputs from

Vimochana,
Karnataka Kolalagiri Nivasigara Sanghatana
Women’s Voice

On 19th & 20th August 2010

INTRODUCTORY NOTE

There have been several tragedies affecting the poor in Karnataka and India. But the latest one concerning several deaths due to the gross cruelty, negligence and inhuman treatment in the Beggars’ Colony of Bangalore is the worst we have ever witnessed. What has disturbed the citizens of Karnataka is the total apathy, indifference and even collaboration of the state in these deaths. Instead of addressing the concerns of the beggars, the Officials of the state have been responsible for their deaths through cruelty, physical assault and torture.

There is a lot the state has to explain about the misdeeds of its Officials in the beggary home. The home was established with laudable goals to provide solace and comfort to the homeless, the penniless and the defenseless. But the only experience both the dead and the living in the place have is one of pain, suffering and torture. They are treated worse than animals. Many must have died in the last few years due to an attitude of inhumanity among the Officials in the Colony.

Bangalore is known across the world as an IT city, a city of technology as well as of affluence. What is unfortunate is that the affluence of the city has not been shared with all. In the deaths and inhuman treatment of the Beggars, one sees the other face of Bangalore. While the poor are being hounded all over the country, with an anti-beggary law, the Karnataka state has imprisoned the poor behind bars. Instead of addressing deep-rooted issues of inequity, illiteracy, unemployment, a skewed distribution of resources and poverty, the government and its strong arm, the police, have been picking the poor and the innocent citizens and admitting them into the beggary home. It is difficult to imagine the justification the state could offer in forcibly admitting into the Beggars’ Colony people who are not beggars.

To any civilized citizen, the situation is simply not acceptable. All human beings have a right to be treated with human care. And that human care is to be offered primarily to the old, the suffering and to the mentally and physically disabled. When we do not offer that humanity to those who ought to be receiving it, we have lost out an important dimension of what it means to be human.

This report compiled as a result of the several organizations coming together and the field visits by some of the organizations is dedicated to the departed persons of the Beggars’ Colony. We would not like those deaths, though unwept and unsung, go unquestioned and un-interrogated. We want those deaths to re-kindle in the hearts of Bangaloreans greater sensitivity and compassion to those who are not as privileged as we are.

Dr. Ambrose Pinto SJ Principal St. Joseph’s College Lalbagh Road, Bangalore 25th August 2010

Introduction:
On the 19th August 2010 after listening to the media and reading newspaper reports, the citizens of Karnataka were shocked to hear that twelve inmates, three of them women had died at Beggars’ Colony...
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