Darkest India eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 172 pages of information about Darkest India.

(1.) The first step that we would take in reforming the-beggars would be to regiment them. The task would be undertaken by our Labor Bureau.  In this I do not think there would be serious difficulty encountered, if the scheme commended itself to the native public.  They would only have to stop their supplies and send the beggars to us.

(2.) Our next step would be to sort out the beggars.  They would be divided into three classes:—­

    (a) The physically unfit, who could be furnished with light work
        at our labor yards, or otherwise cared for.  At present there are
        hundreds of beggars who are physically unfit for the exertion that
        begging involves, and who are driven to it by the desperate pangs
        of hunger.

    (b) Those who like it, and are physically well fitted for it,
        besides being accustomed to the life, and not being fitted much for
        anything else.

    (c) Those who dislike the life, and would prefer, or are suited for
        other occupations.  Some of these we would draft off to other
        departments of our labour yards, while some would for the present
        be kept on as beggars, with the hope of early promotion to other

(3.) We should brigade the beggars under the name of the Household Salvage Brigade, or some similar title, dividing them into small companies and appointing over them Sergeants from among themselves, and providing each with a badge or number.

(4.) We should with the advice and consent of the leading members of the native community, map out the city into wards, and assign each company their respective streets, allotting as far as possible the Mahommedan beggars to the Mahommedan quarters, and the Hindoos to the Hindoo.  In this we should also take the advice of experienced beggars, from whom we should expect to learn many useful hints.

(5,) Each house that was willing to receive them would be supplied with three receptacles, one for waste cooked food, another for gifts of uncooked food, and a third for old clothes, waste paper, shoes, tins, bottles, and other similar articles.

(6.) At an appointed hour the Brigade would proceed to their posts, would patrol their wards, and bring or send the various articles collected to the labor yards, where all would be sorted and dealt with as necessary the cooked food being distributed among those who were willing to eat it, or sent to the surburban farm for our buffaloes.  The raw grain would be handed over to our food depots, and credited by them to the Beggars Fund for the special benefit of the destitute.

(7.) At the end of each day every member of the Brigade would receive a food ticket in payment of his services.  The amount could be regulated hereafter.  This ticket he would present at our food depot, where he would be supplied with whatever articles he might require.  There would be a regular system of rewards and encouragements for good conduct.  But all such details will be settled hereafter.

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Darkest India from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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