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Two middle-aged women, who speak English and claim to have worked in western countries, are among those caught while begging on city streets recently. Telangana Prisons Department, in coordination with police and the civic body, has picked up and admitted 235 male beggars and over 130 women beggars to Anand Ashrams (special homes) since October 20 as part of a drive to make Hyderabad a beggar-free city. "Two women, aged 50 and 44, both natives of Hyderabad, were among some 30 women caught begging near a dargah in Langer Houz. Police took them to Anand Ashram on November 11," a senior official said. To their astonishment, the Ashram staff found that the two women spoke English well. The elder of the two told the staff that she had an MBA degree, and once worked as accountant in London before returning here.
Her son, who was contacted by the authorities subsequently, confirmed this. The younger woman said she was a Green Card holder and had worked in the US, said K Arjun Rao, superintendent of the Cherlapalli open-air jail and the Ashram in-charge. "The fifty-year-old woman, who had lost her husband and was facing certain problems, approached a godman, and on his advise started begging near the dargah. Her son is an architect based in the US," he said. The younger woman claimed that she started begging after her relatives cheated her out of her share of the ancestral property, he said. "After taking undertakings (that they would not beg again) from them, we handed over both women to their relatives," the official said. There are still some 12 women in the Ashram, he said. The drive began after the Director General (Prisons and Correctional Services) V K Singh told the government that the prison department will take care of the rehabilitation of beggars, on the lines of measures taken for the rehabilitation of prison inmates. However, the drive was postponed after media reports sought to link it to the scheduled visit of US President Donald Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, here for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit starting November 28. The drive would resume later, Singh had said.