Indore (Madhya Pradesh): There is a new gang in town – the ‘Wiper Gang’ and they have changed the way of begging in the city. In a well-thought out strategy, the gang members provide unsolicited services and then demand money for it.
Of late, one can see gangs of young boys and girls, even men and women, pouncing on unsuspecting car owners at red lights and cleaning their windshields with soap water and a hand-held wiper. Even if you refuse to take their service, they often continue cleaning the windshield and then demand money. Most people get irritated and tell them to go away and some even shout at the ‘cleaners’ when they are persistent. What is more, the ‘cleaners’ are not very polite when you refuse to pay!
The officials of Indore Municipal Corporation are aware of these new tactics and claimed that they take action against such elements. IMC officials said that apart from cleaning the windshield, some of them also sell earbuds, roses and even pens. Their real motive is begging and the wares they are pretending to sell are nothing but an attempt to camouflage their intentions. The ‘cleaning’ brigade is most active at Shivaji Vatika and LIG crossings – where the red light stoppage is for a longer period when compared to other crossings.
“It has now become a regular practice at most of the square and we have to pay for the service that we did not want to avail,” said Saumya Bhatte, management specialist
Ilayaraja T, collector Indore |
“We have already recognised the problem and are in contact with the IMC to come up with better solutions. The women and child development department has already made a plan to eradicate begging in all forms and shall come up with a certain tactic to deal with this.”
Ilayaraja T, collector Indore
Pushyamitra Bhargav |
“The municipal commission is well aware of the fact that such kind of organised begging has started taking place in the city. For the last 1.5 years, we have taken rigorous steps and as a result, these people have stopped asking for money directly, however, they are using this method to beg. IMC plans to appoint a team of volunteers who will be posted on the intersections to stop this.”
- Pushyamitra Bhargav, Mayor
Ramniwas Budheliya |
“The department has a dedicated team that looks after this issue. Along with the other departments we are planning to introduce a grass root inspection campaign which will identify the root cause.”
- Ramniwas Budheliya, joint director, WCD
Pallavi Porwal |
“We have identified that the majority of those involved in the practices are minors and as we are concerned for their education and rights, we are planning to rope in counselling sessions for the parents and will try to eliminate the cause soon.”
- Pallavi Porwal, chairperson, CWC
Pooja Tiwari |
“It is irritating when you stop at a traffic signal and many ‘beggars’ surround your vehicle and keep hitting the window panes. They pour soapy water on your windscreen and do a little bit of wiping and then ask for money. If you do not pay, they will ensure that the windshield is in a worse condition than in which they found it.”
Pooja Tiwari, Professional educator
Manmay Sharma |
“It is a major concern and the administration must act against them as they extort money from you and don’t allow you to cross the signal if you refuse to pay. Children and pregnant women are also involved in it.”
Manmay Sharma Health worker
Manoj Bhatte |
"They have a gang that extorts money from people at major squares of the city including LIG Square, Khajrana, Mhow Naka, and others. Authorities must act to provide relief to the denizens from the 'begging' issue."
Manoj Bhatte Businessman