Katihar: At a time when Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is being given credit for changing the face of Bihar and dragging the state out of the ‘dark age’, the ground reality is quite different from what is generally perceived.
As per a report published by a leading Hindi daily, there is a school in the Bhains Diara area of Barari division of Katihar district where children from poor families are trained in the art of begging.
As part of school curriculum, these children are taught on how to beg and get sympathy from people so that they can earn more, the report claims.
Over two dozen kids are studying in the school. Out of the total strength, many are girls in the age group of 10-12 years.
Students of this school can be heard reciting these lines Allah ke naam par de de baba, bhagwan ke naam par de de maai or I am an orphan, I haven’t eaten from the past two days.
to get perfection in the art of begging, which will ensure them a good earning.
Mehboob Alam, the 70-year-old trainer of this school with a flowing grey beard, who can barely walk with the help of a cane stick, regrets that no development has taken place in the village post-independence.
Mere mention of development which has taken place in the tenure of Nitish Kumar is enough to infuriate him.
“Residents of the village do not have access to basic facilities like electricity, water, roads, health and school. The parents are helpless. If the poor kids will not beg then what will they eat?” the old teacher questions.
Once the training is complete, the kids start begging at railway station mostly in trains passing by Katihar. While begging in all of six trains that travel between Katihar junction and Kadagola station, their daily earning comes to around Rs 150.
However, the Member of Parliament from Barari division, Vibhash Chadra Choudhary denies existence of such school.
He claims that he was informed about the same but when BDO Arun Kumar Chaubey went to the village to verify the facts, the information turned out to be incorrect.
He further says that as part of a conspiracy some beggars, who are not from village, did come to village and trained them on begging. However, he later agreed that there are some 20-25 families of beggars who beg for a living in the areas from Araria to Kishanganj.
Katihaar District Magistrate Ashwani Dattatrey Thakre refused to comment on the issue. BDO of Barari division said that Anganwadi and Indira Awas scheme will be implemented in Bhains Diyara division.