GUWAHATI: Despite beating of the 'development' drum by the ruling dispensation ahead of the ensuing polls in Assam, a worrying statistic has surfaced -- that 71 out of 1 lakh people in the state are beggars.
Assam topped the chart of the highest number of beggars with 22,116 beggars among the northeastern states according to the data.
On average, it has the highest number of beggars in the state out of 1 lakh population. Only West Bengal (with 89 beggars per 1 lakh population) leads Assam.
Among Northeast Indian states, next to Assam, Tripura has the highest average (41). On the other hand, Mizoram only has 5 beggars per 1 lakh population, while Nagaland has 6.
The figures were given by Social Justice Minister Thawar Chand Gehlot in a written reply to Lok Sabha on Thursday when the government came out with the total number of beggars in the country.
As per the minister's statement, a total number of 4,13,670 beggars are residing in India, including 2,21,673 males and 1,91,997 females beggars in the country.
The data, based on the 2011 census, says female beggars outnumber their male counterparts in the states of West Bengal, Assam, and Manipur.
West Bengal ranked top with 81,224 beggars followed by 65,835 beggars in Uttar Pradesh, 30,218 in Andhra Pradesh, 29,723 in Bihar, 28,695 in Madhya Pradesh, 25,853 in Rajasthan.
New Delhi has 2,187 beggars whereas Chandigarh has only 121 beggars.
Lakshadweep has only two beggars, while Dadra Nagar Haveli, Daman and Diu and the Andaman and Nicobar islands have 19, 22, and 56 vagrants respectively, according to the government's data.
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