Sri Lanka is reported to be the only country in the South Asian region where the beggar population is rich possessing bank accounts.

A recent survey conducted by an independent organization on the directives of a state-owned entity on the beggar population has revealed that at least sixty percent possess savings accounts in state and private banks.

According to the survey, beggars are categorized into several segments; street beggars, passenger transport beggars, differently abled beggars and music beggars.

It is revealed that the segment which engages in singing and music in public and private transport, near state-owned hospitals and religious places earn more than the other categories.

This segment, the survey has revealed earn between Rs.4,000-5,000 per day while those who beg near Mosques on Friday make at least Rs.6, 000.

It had found that a beggar woman who begs in buses in Colombo between Ratmalana and Mattakkuliya earns close to Rs.4,000 per day.

The survey further reveals that nearly 80 percent of beggars who possess bank accounts cannot read or write and they only place thumb marks on documents.

It stated that the income of differently abled category appeared less as they begged from one particular place.

The survey unfolds that another category which begs spends their income on consuming liquor and drugs.

According to further details of the survey, some beggars had confessed that they sacrificed their limbs (hands and legs) to running trains to engage in begging as the source of income.
A full report on the survey is to be handed over to the Government shortly. (PG)