Begging in India, Child & Rich Beggars in India – A $1.5 Billion Industry

Begging in India, Child Beggars in India & Rich Beggars in India

Beggars in India
Beggars in India

I always say India is a land of opportunities!

An Opportunity so vast, that it’s hard to capture by a single player all along.

That is the reason that there are at least ten startups in the very same segment doing the same thing but operating in different cities and getting funded then biting the dust!

Beggars in India are no different. The only difference being they do their job religiously and without any investment and are extremely profitable.

P.S After I had written my last controversial post on Depression, I was thrashed & praised for being biased, but I always rely on numbers and facts, nothing else, this piece is also on the same lines and the views again, are entirely mine. ūüôā

Begging in India

Begging in India
Begging in India

Poverty and Begging in India are still among the biggest issues for the government to tackle. For the uninformed who aren’t used to see such widespread poverty, India Beggars can be a difficult to avoid and they may find it uneasy to resist giving alms. The reality is that you’re not helping at all.

India’s one-sided rapid economic growth in the last 20 years, has resulted in uneven distribution of wealth. Over the last 20 years of the economic development, the rich have got richer and Indian beggars have mysteriously reappeared on the plush locations and busy traffic signals of the country.

But they are not the same old beggars in India; they are new, professionally trained beggars of India who are probably making more money than you are & yes they are doing it without paying a single rupee of income tax or GST (duh!).

Begging in India – Supply Chain of India Beggars

An important point to note about Begging in India is that “Begging is a CRIME under the Penal Codes”!

The offense of begging comes under the prevention of begging act. This “Legal Act” may be called differently in various states but two of the largest markets of Mumbai & Delhi have adopted it and decided to call it the same. In Delhi “The Delhi Prevention of Begging Act” applies and in Mumbai, “The Bombay Prevention of Begging Act 1959” is applicable which deals with the penalty or detention of beggars for the offense of begging in India.

Begging in India has the best possible supply chain that is¬†better than that of behemoths like Unilever & it’s backed Dollar Shave Club. This industry can transport live Humans in the shortest possible time with absolutely no pilferage.

Begging in India – Business Model

The Business Model of Begging in India is very complex and involves a lot of elements like human trafficking, its terrorism connects and the propaganda behind keeping Begging in India as is.

India has a lot of people living under the poverty line but begging in India that happens on the streets is a well-oiled machine and is running very smoothly for its owners and generating quite a lot of cash in the meanwhile. There are anti-social gangs in every city, and they have a gang leader who manages the whole group. All the earnings that the beggars receive go the team leader, and this is how it works.

I would explain it in detail below, but for the meantime, just do with this sentence: Begging in India is an Organized Crime.  It is a multi-hierarchical organization run by Drug Lords / Begging Mafia / Begging Cartels, who are anti-social or criminal groups who facilitate the entire operations at the national and the local levels.

Assume that:

  • There are 10 cities in India, 10 States in India and 10 Beggars Per City
  • Which means there are (10 x 10 x 10) 1000 beggars in India
  • Every beggar makes 10,000 rupees daily (assumption for calculation purpose)
  • Total revenue becomes, 1 Crore (1,00,00,000 INR) daily
  • This amount is deposited to the local city leader (collected via locality leaders)
  • This city leader takes appx 85% of the revenue (i.e. 85 lacs) and the rest is equally distributed amongst the beggars of that city and against this rev-share, he provides security from other gangs/ goons and etc.
  • The city leader then deposits the collection from the city to the state head, who takes 60 out of the 85% collected (25% remains with city lord)
  • The state head then deposits it to the national head (who takes 50 out of the 60% collected, 10% remains with state lords)
  • This 50% i.e. 50 lacs is used to please all the stakeholders involved in the operation, it can be ANYONE! + This is also used to fund terrorist activities / local unrest etc. ¬†These local goons then return the favor by abducting more and more children from the streets to put them into organized begging in India.

India Beggars

India Beggars
India Beggars

As of December 2015 (I suppose this should be from India’s last census data of 2011) India Beggars are over 4 lakh in number with West Bengal’s 81,000 being the maximum among the states.

India Beggars to be precise stand tall at: 4,13,670 beggars – 2.2 lakh males and 1.91 lakh females.

West Bengal with 81,244 beggars topped the list followed by 65,835 in Uttar Pradesh, 30,218 in Andhra Pradesh, 29,723 in Bihar and 28,695 in Madhya Pradesh.

States of Assam, Manipur, and West Bengal female beggars outnumbered their male counterparts.

Delhi recorded the number of beggars at 2,187 (I find this data inconsistent since Delhi is the 2nd most Financially dynamic city in India, this number should have been at least 10X).  According to other research reports, this number in Delhi is at 60,000 and in Mumbai is well-over 80,000 (yes 80K).

Beggars in India

Beggars in India are the eyes and ears of the local anti-social elements, gangs as well as the law and order system of the country. Some beggars in India do good while helping the law enforcement agencies while others actually help in creating social unrest and disseminating hateful speeches across the locality.

The market size of organized beggars in India is huge. Some research reports (Rafiuddin, 2012) peg the amount per beggar to be as high as 24,000 INR per month. If we were to compute the total revenue generated out of these 4,00,000 lac beggars (number given by the government via census) it becomes $400 * 0.3 Million Beggars * 12 months =  $960 Million + Accruals of 24% (2% per month) because of Pay-Day Loans = $1.25 Billion (Considering the number to be skewed downward because of non-reporting, this number can be as high $1.5 Billion, maybe more).

That’s roughly 1 Rs per Person of Indian Population! Hmm.

In Your Face SnapChat! Market Size of Organized Begging in India ($1.5 Billion) is 2X SnapChat's Global Revenue ($0.75 Billion).Click To Tweet

That’s a tad more than what FlipKart wants to offer SnapDeal as a Buyout Valuation ūüôā !

Beggars in India – Terrorism Angle

Beggars in India generate all of this money in Cash, well surprisingly PayTm is still not an option for these Beggars in India.

Now cash is a difficult asset to manage, you can not deposit this in banks because otherwise it will attract tax liability and questions from the IT departments, nor can you just keep it with you.  This cash is then used to fund cash intensive businesses like scrap, real estate etc. This cash is then infused in these activities to generate a return out of them Рagain in cash!

The ulterior motive of most of this cash is to generate more and more money either to fund the existing business of begging in India or to fund terrorist activities by way of purchase of:

  • Ammunition for terrorist groups,
  • Grocery Supplies
  • Transportation Arrangements/ Stay Arrangements etc.

Globally Terrorism has only 3 major sources of revenues, Abducting Children and Selling them to Begging Mafia is one of them.

Beggars in India – Propaganda

Beggars in India make really good use of the money they earn, it is usually spent on alcohol, drugs or even investments (more on this in the next section)!

I don’t understand, why do people give alms to the beggars in India. There are other ways to help them like donating to charity where elderly individuals or young kids are being taken care of, etc. The common sight of a little boy, maybe 10 or 11 years old, who navigated the streets of Mumbai by lying, stomach down, on an old skateboard, and pulling his body along with his arms. They ask for money and saying “XYZ bhalaa karega, or XYZ ke naam pe de de baba, etc.” People typically reach out in their pocket and give out whatever comes out (between 5rs to 20 sometimes even 500 for some blessings).

Giving them those 20 Rs might be the most destructive thing you’ve ever done.

You should never give money to child beggars you meet on the road. Not even the cute ones. Not even the disabled ones. Not even the ones who want money for school. Don’t give them money, or candy, or pens. It’s not generous. In fact, it’s one of the most unethical things a well-meaning person can do.

You should know that when you give out money, you create a circle of poverty and give the beggars in India a strong incentive to stay jobless and continue begging in India. You are essentially creating a disabled beggar and funding the next bomb dropped on your neighborhood. The reasons to never, ever give money to child beggars in India go much deeper than this, begging in India is one of the most organized and one of the most notorious forms of human trafficking, and it’s largely financed and enabled by good-hearted people who just want to help.

Rich Beggars in India

Rich Beggars in India
Rich Beggars in India

Rich Beggars in India are probably making more money than you are from your day job or even driving Ola / Uber.

There have been instances when these rich beggars of India have been caught red-handed either investing in FDs or Insurance premiums.

Rich Beggars in India – Lifestyle

Rich Beggars in India live a LifeStyle that most people living in that city may not even dream of affording!

Yes! That’s true.

Can you imagine Begging in India while you have two flats in the financial capital of the country? ¬†That’s what Bharat Jain (India’s richest beggar does) – He has 2 flats (70 lacs each) and a juice shop on Rent (10K per month rent) and is operating out of a signal in Parel Area (Mumbai City).

There are many more instances of rich beggars in India like the one lady who was paying 36,000 as annual insurance premiums and many more…

Child Beggars in India

Child Beggars in India
Child Beggars in India

Child Beggars in India is the menace, that if fought will all the power will eradicate this problem from its roots.  If child beggars in India are absent from the streets begging and rather studying in schools, Begging in India will never make as much money as it is today.

Children are abducted (and even in some cases sold to) by anti-social / terror groups and sold to begging mafia in India. These gangs then deploy these child beggars very far away from their home location so that they are untraceable.  These kids then are taught, tortured, drugged and made to beg at traffic signals, near temples, hospitals, and plush restaurants.

Sometimes these child beggars in India are even maimed to make them more likely to receive higher sums of alms. Some doctors in India have even been caught red-handed while taking money against maiming children for these begging mafia lords.

Child Beggars in India – Child Trafficking in India

Child trafficking in India is a huge menace and most of the trafficked children are being sold off to drug lords and begging mafias within India. Some female children are being sold off in the international markets for prostitution.

Continuing about Begging in India, child beggars are more likely to receive alms then the aged or the young.  Maimed children are twice more likely to receive alms as compared to a fit child beggar.  This is the core reason of trafficked children getting maimed day in day out.  The only way to stop this menace is STOP GIVING ALMS!

According to the Indian National Human Rights Commission, up to 40,000 children are abducted in India every year and forced by Drug Cartels (explained later) to beg on the streets of India, of which at least 11,000 remain untraced.

Child Beggars in India – Abuse Issues

Have you ever wondered, why does the child with the begging woman on the signal or on the railway station is always sleeping or quiet and seemingly lost? It is so because that child beggar is actually drugged to such an extent that he/she stays so for the next working hours of that beggar in India.

There is also a seemingly obvious connection between the system and these gangs that are being exploited to reap more and more money out of the common man’s pocket. ¬†There is a clear reason why you will see the majority of the rich people actually making charities which they can oversee for helping the needy. ¬†I suggest we also do the same so that this thing can be eradicated from the roots from India.

Disclaimer: Begging in India, Child & Rich Beggars in India is an analytical piece on India Beggars by the author, and all the images used are courtesy Google.co.in while the numbers are obtained by primary & secondary research.

Unicorn Economy
Unicorn Economy is your answer to all startup related queries with respect to business strategy, business model analysis and consulting. One stop stop for business plan and financial model development.

4 Comments

  1. GREAT POST!!!!

    wanted to know from where the numbers are obtained in your primary and secondary research?? If here is some website then share the name, it would be helpful for my research.

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