Bangladeshi beggars to be paid during World Cup

Dhaka: A southeastern city in Bangladesh will pay local beggars to stay off the streets during next month`s cricket World Cup.

Chittagong mayor Manzurul Alam said today that the city will pay about 300 physically disabled beggars up to 150 takas (USD 2.11) a day.

"Initially, it will continue for three months till end of April," Alam told The Associated Press. "We are planning to permanently rehabilitate them after that."

Chittagong, the second largest city in Bangladesh, is located 135 miles (215 kilometers) southeast of the capital, Dhaka.

Alam added that he expects to meet with the beggars` representatives on Tuesday to discuss the plan, which could also include free food and clothes.

Alam said he hopes to allow the "tourists and guests" to move freely on the streets during the "prestigious" event.

Beggars are a common sight in Bangladeshi cities, with an estimated 700,000 calling the country home.

The World Cup takes place Feb. 19 to April 2 and is co-hosted by Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka.

Bureau Report