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79-Year-Old Beggar in China Ousted as Wealthy Grandma Who Just Enjoys Begging

A 79-year-old who spent most of her time begging at a train station in Hangzhou, China, was recently ousted as a relatively rich pensioner who lives in a 5-storey villa and owns several retail stores and rental properties in the city.

The woman’s story made national news headlines last week, after staff at Hangzhou’s East Railway Station started broadcasting an unusual message from loudspeakers warning passers-by not to fall for the granny’s story because she is not what she appears to be. In a surprising turn of events, even the woman’s son told reporters that their family is considerably wealthier than the average family in China. They live in a lavish villa, own several properties, some of which they rent to local business, and he himself manages a family factory. The man added that he told his mother to stop begging numerous times, but she refuses to listen.

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No Loose Change? Chinese Beggars Are Now Accepting Mobile Payments

If you still have any doubts that mobile devices have taken over our lives, this should make you a firm believer: smartphones and QR codes have become tools of the trade for Chinese beggars. If you’re feeling generous, you can simply whip out your phone, scan a a printed QR code and transfer some money to the beggar’s account.

Local media have spread news of mobile-savvy beggars in the city of Jinan, in China’s Shandong province. They gather in areas popular with tourists, holding begging bowls that contain a QR code printout. Anyone with Alipay, WeChat Wallet, or some other mobile payment app can scan the code and make a donation. Wait, beggars in China have mobile phones? Well, according to state media outlets, that’s not actually a rare thing.

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Amsterdam Introduces Contactless Payment Jackets for Beggars

It’s getting and harder and harder for beggars to survive on spare change handouts these days. People have become too reliant on alternative payment options to carry cash around with them, and those that still have a few coins in their pockets are often afraid that recipients will just spend it on alcohol, drugs or cigarettes. However, a couple of Dutch advertising professionals have come up with an intriguing solution – a contactless payment jacket for beggars and homeless people.

Developed by Carsten van Berkel and Stefan Leendertse of N = 5, an Amsterdam-based advertising agency, the contactless payment jacket allows people to donate 1€ to the wearer using their contactless smart card. The unusual clothing item has a card reader sewn into it, and in order to donate 1€ to the wearer, all you have to do is hold the card close to the jacket for a few moments, and the sum is automatically debited from your bank account. The contactless payment jacket also comes with an LCD screen which constantly displays instructions of use.

“People have less cash in their pockets,” says Jan Jesse Bakker, the designer of the jacket. “And if you have a single euro on you and give it to a homeless person, then you do not know what happens to it.” That’s one of the big advantages of the contactless payment jacket. You’re not giving cash to a total stranger to do with it what he pleases. Instead, the fixed sum (one euro) goes into a bank account managed by a homeless shelter, and can only be used to purchase a hot meal, pay for a bath or spend a night at a homeless shelter (many such centers in the Netherlands require a contribution of 5€ per night). Homeless people who really want to turn their life around can also save money for various job certification courses or a down-payment for a home. “We can offer the homeless more than just a warm Christmas,” Bakker adds. “We give them back prospects.”

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Young Indian Beggar Has Several Bank Accounts, Gives Loans to Local Traders

He may not look it, but this young Indian beggar is actually richer than most of the nation’s middle class. Pappu Kumar has managed to make a small fortune during eight years of begging on the streets of Patna, in the state of Bihar. He reportedly has 500,000 rupees ($7,500) stashed away in four bank accounts, and property worth 1.25 crore rupees ($185,000). He even lends money to local businessmen on the side and earns money from the interest charged. But the 33-year-old still doesn’t want to quit begging.

Pappu was not exactly destined for the life of a beggar – he went to high school and even had plans to study engineering in college, but sadly, he suffered an accident that left him partially paralyzed. His father passed away soon after, and he was disowned by the rest of his family. Pappu was then left with no choice but to beg for his survival.

“I passed my intermediate examination with 57 percent marks and a major contributor to this was my mathematics subject where I obtained 72 marks, which was the maximum of all subjects,” he told local media. “My dream was to pursue an engineering course. I was even trying for this, but, in the meantime, I met with a serious accident leaving me paralyzed. I had no option but to turn to begging to eke out my living as my family disowned me after the incident.”

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UK Beggar Sparks Outrage after Getting into $70,000 Audi at the End of His ‘Shift’

Matthew Brinton, a beggar in England’s Cornwall county, has earned the wrath of locals after he was spotted getting into an Audi TT in a parking lot near Bank Street. Brinton is a familiar face in the area, having begged there for several years. Footage of him getting into the $70,000 luxury car was uploaded on Facebook, and Brinton has been receiving death threats ever since.

The 35-year-old beggar, who lives with a friend, claims to have received the car as inheritance from his grandmother. He also says that the Audi has since been stolen, and he’s now fearing for his life. “I have not seen any of the social media posts because I do not have access to the internet but according to the police I’ve had lots of death threats,” he said. “People are assuming too much and I’m getting a lot of abuse. This has been going on for years.”

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Chinese Teen Dresses Up as Cow Every Day and Asks People to Ride Her to Raise Money for Sick Father

Desperate to raise funds for her ailing father’s treatment, a teenager in China’s Anhui province has taken to wearing a cow mask and charging people 5 yuan to ride her. She’s been at it for the past three months, but Hefei locals have branded her a fraud.

Now, news reports are featuring photographs of 15-year-old Hao Dongdong with her paralysed father, proving that she’s been telling the truth all along. “My dad needs 5,000 Yuan each month for medical treatments,” she told reporters. “My brother and sister need to go to school. I have no identity card [for work] so I have to beg.”

Dongdong’s father Hao Xinli used to be a farmer, but a back injury forced him to move to the city in 2000 to set up a small shop. Last year, when he and his wife were shopping in Hefei, they saw a mobile store giving away freebies as a promotional offer. They ran to the shop and tried taking what they could, but soon got into an altercation with the sales staff. Xinli was beaten badly, and his back pain became excruciating.

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Professional Beggar Takes Credit Card Donations, Makes a Killing

Damien Preston-Booth is probably the smartest, most resourceful beggar in the world. Every week, the 37-year-old from Lancashire travels all the way to London’s Mayfair to accept donations from wealthy tourists – via credit card! He actually carries around a card reader to make sure he doesn’t miss out on contributions from rich people who don’t have cash on them.

Every Wednesday for the past five years, Booth has journeyed from his £300 a month rented apartment in Preston to London, where he pretends to be homeless, spending three days and nights sleeping rough and begging. He walks up to potential donors and tries appealing to their generosity. If they’re ready to contribute, he quickly whips out his mobile card reader that transfers all payments to his PayPal account. The reader is linked via Bluetooth to his smartphone, and the donor receives a receipt for his donation.

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Soulless Chinese Beggars Stoop to Mutilating Camels to Gain Sympathy and Improve Earnings

Beggars in China are stooping to new lows in order to gain sympathy (and money) from impressionable passers-by. Horrific pictures show deliberately mutilated camels that are being used to beg for donations. Apparently, the trick has worked wonders so far – the beggars’ collections have increased because people are quite sympathetic and end up donating generously to help the poor animals.

The latest case was discovered in Fuzhou city, China’s Fujian Province, where two men in ragged clothes were spotted kneeling down and begging, while holding the reins of a camel. When the police approached them, they found that the camel had no hooves, and the wounds indicated that they had been deliberately cut off.

In another incident, Fuzhou Evening News reported the case of a camel found by the roadside. It had been led through the streets by a beggar, and then abandoned. News reports suggest that beggars have been spotted with injured camels in several other cities such as Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Shaoxing, Xiamen, Guangzhou, and Hefei. Read More »

Chinese Festival Organizers Create Human Zoo for Beggars

Beggars at a religious festival in Nanchang, southern China, have been ordered to either stay in specially-built metal cages or risk being removed from the city, in an attempt to stop them from harassing visitors.

Living in a country where begging is a very lucrative business, I know what it’s like to constantly be disturbed by various characters asking for money (not food, money), but what these Chinese festival organizers did is a bit extreme. According to a Nanchang official, in recent years the number of beggars turning up for the local religious festival has increased to a point where they’re actually making temple visitors uncomfortable with their lamenting and pleading for some pocket change. So this year, to make sure everyone attending the festivities will be left alone, they decided to separate the hundreds of beggars in small metal cages around the festival grounds, where people can still give donations if they wish, but without being followed around and nagged while they’re on a day out with their family. Organizers did point out that the beggars in this pop-up human zoo entered their cages voluntarily and that no one is actually forcing them to beg for a living…

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The Clinging Beggars of China

To make sure they squeeze some money out of them, young Chinese beggars have begun clinging to the legs of their victims.

Picture this: you’re walking down the street, minding your own business when this helpless little beggar girl comes up to you and asks you to buy a flower. You say something like “no thanks” and move on. But wait, one of your legs seems to be immobilized. You look down at the leg and see that same girl wrapped around it saying she isn’t going to let go until you buy a flower. This sort of harassment takes place more and more often on the streets of China’s major cities.

Now, considering there’s rarely any police around to help you with the issue, there are two things you can do. One way to resolve this would be to kick her with your other leg, but what kind of animal hits a child, right? So your only other option is to actually buy the flower and see to your business. Maybe you think there are other ways to escape the grip of these persistent beggars, but those already trapped by one say they don’t let go no matter how hard you try to reason with them or even hit them.

So the obvious question is: are these clinging beggars to blame? I would be inclined to say no, because they’re just doing what they must to survive. There are criminals that send them to “work” every day and if they don’t earn their keep, they’re in serious trouble.

via bbs.163.com

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