Female beggars: Swati has been struggling to make ends meet for the last three years. What caught social media’s attention is her fluent English speaking skills. She was interviewed by a student from Banaras Hindu University who revealed that she is also a graduate in Computer Science who is well-versed with computers and used different software for typing work.
She has been living on Assi Ghat for the last three years. She eats and sleeps there. According to the student who interviewed her, she wants a job and not charity. Here are more such heart-warming stories of destitute women whose stories went viral on social media.
A 72-year-old widow Sukhmati Manikpuri made headlines last year for donating one quintal of rice, around a dozen sarees and some cash to the needy people. Reason? She said she knew how it felt to be hungry and wanted to reach out to as many people as possible during COVID time.
“I understand the hunger pangs. I began begging more to arrange whatever possible for these needy and helpless people. No one should sleep hungry”, she stated.
Another story is of 7-year-old Lakshmi who had been living in the streets of Haldwani in Nainita. She picked up a banana skin in full public view at a programme to throw it in the dustbin. She was later enrolled in a private school by government officials who were touched by her initiative.
A 65-year-old beggar in Jammu and Kashmir made news when it was found that she was the owner of 2.58 lakh rupees. It all happened when a party of the Municipal Committee cleared her ragged temporary shelter, which was outside a veterinary hospital. They found three plastic boxes, containing notes of various denominations. They also found a jute bag filled with coins. She had been saving the amount for the last 30 years. The money was returned to her. Read more about it here.
Neelam who used to beg on the pavement in Kanpur met his soulmate Anil and married him. Love blossomed between the two during the lockdown when Anil took to distributing food as per the instructions of his employer among the poor on the pavement where she used to beg. He said, “I admired her courage and guts. She was not only fending for herself but also for her paralyzed mother.”
When 75-year-old Rahima Bewa realised the ill-effects of open defecation, she utilised some of her savings to build a toilet in her house. “Some people told me defecating in the open is harmful for our health. So, I decided to build a toilet in my house. I’m spending some of my savings for it,” said Bewa. Read more about it here.