Delhi: External Beauty, Internal Suffering

Delhi has been going all out in its effort to clean-up the city, in the run up to the Commonwealth Games, to be hosted in the capital in 2010. Take for instance the goal of making the national capital beggar-free. It seems like a fairly high-tech intervention – with video cameras and biometric fingerprint scanners and all this to keep the beggars off the street [via Business Standard]

Intensifying the anti-begging campaign in Delhi, authorities have picked around 100 beggars, including women and children, in the last three days and sent them to the homes meant for their rehabilitation.

He said the beggars are being produced before respective magistrates and to prove their case the department have done videography of the beggars seeking alms. “To ensure that the beggars do not start begging again, we are taking their finger-prints through bio-metric system installed at the beggars’ homes,” he said.

However, there seems to be little information on what would be done to rehabilitate the beggars. May be some of this advanced technology can be used to help the beggars re-build their lives. I guess the external beauty of the nation’s capital matters, but at the same time, the merits of technocratic initiatives like this are quite questionable. Initiatives such as these do not address the root-cause of the problem, and actually cause more pain for people who have already been subjected to extreme suffering. Well, at least the city will look pretty!

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