CHITRAL: The residents of Chitral have complained against phenomenal increase in the number of children and women beggars in the district.

They said that certain families from Sheshi Koh and other southern areas of the district settled in the city of Chitral and Drosh and started deriving their sustenance from beggary for which they used their women and children.

They also demanded of the government to implement KP Vagrancy Restraint Act, 2020 enacted in January to prevent the obnoxious practice leading to myriad social issues and restlessness.

Bashir Hussain Azad, a shopkeeper in Shahi Bazaar, said that beggars from down country had started arriving in the city earlier in the year but they were sent back by the police and district administration on the demand of the people. “However, the local beggars are still here,” he added.

He said previoudly beggars from Punjab and other areas used to come to Chitral in the summer season, but now locals were also adopting it as a profession.

Abdul Hafeez, another shopkeeper at Polo Ground Chowk, said that beggary through children and women was getting more and more prevalence in the area that went unchecked and unbridled although beggary was a social taboo till the recent past and it was practiced by the non-locals in the summer season.

He said that he often observed people dropping children at certain thoroughfares in the morning time and collecting them in the evening time which meant that beggary was being promoted in Chitral.

He feared that young women seeking alms from the people at public places was likely to create social problems.

Chitral Lower Deputy Commissioner Naveed Ahmed, when contacted, said that social welfare was the department concerned to implement the law enacted by the provincial assembly while the district administration would extend all-out support and help to the steering committee, mentioned in the Act.

The district officer of social welfare could not be contacted despite repeated efforts to know his version.

SUICIDE: Two persons including a married woman and a teenage boy committed suicide by jumping into the river here the other day.

Police told Dawn that a 16-year-old boy jumped into the river in Koghuzi village.

The second incident took place in Zaini village of Upper Chitral where a woman, mother of a five-month-old child, believed to have jumped into the river in Warijun.

Police said she had gone missing three days ago while her shoes were found at the riverbank implying that she jumped into the river as some villagers had seen her going towards the river.

Published in Dawn, August 21st, 2020

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