With new reforms taking place in the Indian railways, it is time to set some strict laws against hawkers, beggars, and eunuchs.
Hawkers are those pheriwalas who enter your train compartment selling tea, coffee, soap, water, snacks, books, fruits and all. They would resue the discarded empty bottles, fill in water, and use glue to stick the cap and sell it as new. They would use the toilet water to make tea with the water heater. They would wear a maroon colour shirt or the blue checks pretending as staff from the pantry car of that train or the government catering site, taking orders for meals.
Their syndicate is so well organised, that as soon as a train enters a particular north Indian state, the pantry vendors would stop selling by not visiting the compartments. You will find only private caterers selling everything. In my whole life, I never found good food served on the trains. People always get cheated and adjust to whatever they are given, just because they don’t have any option, and they and they are hungry. And just because the poor don’t complain, the seller thinks everything’s ok.
People in cities are aware of the beggars’ mafia. Men and women of every age are used, especially the orphans, and are made to beg at every possible crowded place.
Some of their techniques are.
1) Women with falling hair, wet eyes, having a child in her arms who is always sleeping, because of the drugs or sleeping dose.
2) A deliberately half-cut arm or leg showing blood all over, to gain sympathy from the big-hearted money donators. This guy is injected with a strong pain killer.
3) Old age lady carrying a man on her back, begging money for her husband’s medical treatment.
4) Child begging, the most used method, wherein the child would pretend as a handicap, and the moment the next station arrives, they would stand up perfectly and start walking once they have collected the money from the passengers in the train.
All the money these beggars collect is taken away by the mafia who in return takes care of them, by providing food and shelter. If you continuously watch these beggers for 24 hours, you will learn how organised they are. They always have a manager guy around, who watches them continuously. He collects the money, as soon as they are full, again waiting for a few hours for the collection. Once the shift ends, a vehicle would approach, most probably a van, with the 2nd batch of beggars. The same vehicle would take back the first batch at their accommodation.
There are genuine eunuchs, but 80% of them found on the train are fake. I mean, how are you going to find out if they are real. Are you going to put your hand in them to verify? The fakes ones would simply twist their lips, using a little slang and speak out words stretching like Raaaaajuuuuu and we all think that they are real ones, and people end up donating them money, especially on Wednesdays.
This is again an organised business, same as beggars. Everybody is given a specific task, they would approach the passengers with a gap, which is approached by the following eunuch behind. Many are so aggressive that, if you don’t give them money they would touch you everywhere.
Here’s a tip to avoid eunuchs very easily. All you have to do is just fold your hands and bow a little bit when they come near you. They will just move on, and won’t touch you or tell you anything. These people also work for the police as informers, which is good. But not all, many work for the robbers and gangs, passing out info about the kind of passengers and the baggage they have. I think the government should do something to stop this nuisance. Shaking the system which may be on the payroll, is very very difficult. Still, some success can be achieved, if implemented with strict punishable laws.