Tehran: Beggars in the Iranian capital earn
the equivalent of USD 1,500 a month -- five times the official
minimum wage -- the Mehr news agency reported on Tuesday.
"Tehran beggars make at least 500,000 rials (USD 50) a
day or 15 million rials a month," the agency quoted Sadegh
Avvali, the official in charge of social services at Tehran
municipality, as saying.
He said that most beggars roaming the streets asking for
change in the sprawling capital come from villages and remote
towns or are foreigners, and that authorities round up about
300 vagrants and beggars daily.
Under a municipality initiative, panhandlers and vagrants
would be picked off the streets and sent to shelters at night,
Mehr quoted him as saying.
Beggars, including women and children, routinely roam the
Iranian capital and other large cities, especially the
religious hubs such as the northeastern city of Mashhad.
Homeless children and adults also often sell flowers and
chewing gum at busy intersections.
The Iranian minimum wage equals about USD 300 a month,
and many Iranians believe that giving alms is a charitable act
that also prevents mishaps.