Friday, October 30, 2009
Cambodian child beggars in HCM City.
(Posted by CAAI News Media)
VietNamNet Bridge – A small group of Cambodian child beggars have appeared in HCM City in recent months.
At 6pm at a crossroads on Dien Bien Phu street, three kids in ragged and dirty clothes, holding plastic bowls stand at traffic lights asking for small change.
The two older children collect the cash while a much younger child lies naked on the pavement.
They eventually disperse when they hear a police whistle. Next day they are back – but this time the group includes six children and two women.
The two women sat on the pavement while six children divided into three groups, work around the roundabout of Dien Bien Phu street.
From asking around reporters traced them back to a marshy piece of land along the Nguyen Huu Tho road, District 7, which looks like a dumping ground. There are several tents made of coconut leaves and a small house.
Local residents say the house owner pitied the children so he allowed them to live in the house free. They also said that there are over 50 Cambodian people who have been living in this area for around 7 months.
A Cambodian man, who can speak a little Vietnamese, told VietNamNet that they came from Cambodia and they often return home each 3-4 months.
These Cambodian earn their living by collecting waste and begging.
Local government has several times sent them back home but they returned, said Tran Mong Thanh, chairman of Tan Hung ward. Thanh said there are many other Cambodians in HCM City, not only in his ward.
Mai Thi Hoa from the HCM City Department of War Invalids and Social Affairs said that under the HCM City’s regulations, all beggars will be gathered at social patronage centres and then be sent back to their homes.