NATION

Beggars Own Properties, For Some It’s A Business: Fatiaki

Mr Fatiaki also said they have profiled a group, which are mobile and move from city to city following events.
28 Feb 2020 12:40
Beggars Own Properties, For Some It’s A Business: Fatiaki
A beggar at a street in Suva City. File Photo

Some beggars on the streets of Suva own properties, while for some it is a family business.

The Department of Social Welfare has found interesting facts after profiling beggars and homeless people in Suva.

Director Social Welfare Rupeni Fatiaki said for some people begging was like a job where they came in the morning and left for homes after fulfilling their quotas.

He said these people’s reason for begging was that begging made more money than most labour intensive work.

“They are dropped by family members in the morning and picked them up in the evening. If you go around town they will be sitting around town and in the evening, or night, you won’t find them.

“It is like going to work every day,” Mr Fatiaki said.

Mr Fatiaki also said they have profiled a group, which are mobile and move from city to city following events.

He said there was also a group who owned properties and rented them out and begged to supplement their income.

“It is interesting. Some of them are very mobile. You will notice that some of them come from the other parts of the country, like the west, they come during peak season, after that they will be gone back to the homes,” Mr Fatiaki said.

“During Sugar festival, they move to the west, they know what is happening. They know where to go, and what time of the year, they can go. In Suva, you notice them on the day of the Government pay.”

Suva City Council special administrator team chair Isikeli Tikoduadua said they were working with authorities to try and eradicate the begging problem. He said this was a grey area, which needed clarification.

Edited by Percy Kean

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