The mayor of Chittagong said yesterday that he would pay hundreds of beggars a daily wage to keep them off the streets during the cricket World Cup.
Manzur Alam said that about 300 disabled beggars would be given Taka 150 a day after the tournament’s opening ceremony on February 17 to compensate them for loss of earnings.
“We want to keep them off the streets at least for two months during the World Cup. Bangladesh is the host of the prestigious event. A lot of tourists will be here and they don’t like to see beggars,” he said.
Alam said he would meet with the beggars’ representatives on Wednesday to organise the payments and discuss other benefits such as free food and clothes.
“We want to treat the issue as humanely as possible. Many of these beggars are disabled and many have families and their children studying in schools and colleges.”
According to a 2005 study, Bangladesh has about 700,000 beggars, with those in urban areas earning an average of 100 taka a day from donations.