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Social Welfare warns against professional beggars

May 22, 2020 4:55 pm
There are more than 400 beggars in towns and cities, of which many are classified professional beggars as their even own a property.

There are more than 400 beggars in towns and cities, of which many are classified professional beggars as their even own a property.

Social Welfare Director Rupeni Fatiaki has revealed to FBC News that some of these professional beggars get dropped off in the morning and picked up in the afternoon.

“They have homes and most of this people we have profile, they have homes, families, relatives. We have discovered that some of them have properties and rent and we have warned them, we have discovered some of them have properties in the villages, farms, they hire the boys in the village to look after them.”

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The Social Welfare Department is advising Fijians to first verify the relevant information before giving alms to any beggar.

Fatiaki says in some instances, children are used by parents to beg for money, and this is illegal.

“Some of them use children to sit next to them with the community, when you see children, you have that compassion that you want to give, and you want to help. So that’s some of the strategies that they use to put children next to them which is not allowed.”

The Ministry’s database of beggars include the homeless, child beggars, part time beggars and professional beggars while some are mentally challenged.

He adds attempts by the Social Welfare Department to get the mentally challenged beggars to care facilities have been unsuccessful.

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