Apart from locals, many descend on the city from different parts of the country during the holy month
Alms-seekers have a field day in the city during the month of Ramzan. Apart from the locals many from different parts of the country have descended on the city since the advent of the month of fasting. Obviously they want to make the most of the charity liberally doled out.
“The huge Muslim population attracts thousands of alms-seekers annually to the city from different parts of the country,” says Mohd. Ashfaq Ali Khan, convener of the NGO, Chatri. It is said an alms-seeker earns anywhere between Rs. 6,000 and Rs. 10,000 in this month, apart from clothes and food grains.
Mendicants from Maharashtra, Bihar, Karnataka and northern States like Haryana and even Kashmir come to the city during the month of Ramzan.
According to a survey conducted by Chatri, there are an estimated 20,000 alms-seekers in the city. And a few thousands are added to their numbers in the month of Ramzan. The last week of the holy month attracts scores of them as people liberally give charity in the month.
Feroz, a professional alms-seeker, who has come the city this month from Bihar says, “We visit the city every year and get donations including clothes and grains. We do not sell them and instead carry it to our native place after Ramzan.”
In fact, scores of alms-seekers sit at mosques and dargahs around the city. One can find many of them at Yousufian Dargah, Nampally, Mecca Masjid, Mallepally Jamia Masjid, Azizia Masjid and Pahad-e-shareef Dargah. They stay in temporary shelters erected near railway stations and bus stations and resort to seeking alms in the neighbourhoods around. They collect clothes and rations that would be sufficient for most part of the year, it is said.
Besides the charity a few of them engage in collecting plastic waste around the markets and sell them to scrap dealers that helps in increasing their earning. “They collect and bring in huge quantities of plastic waste like containers used to dispense haleem and plastic sachets,” says Syed Ishaq, a scrap dealer at Shastripuram.