Mangaluru: A few women and children in unclean clothes and disorderly look could be seen begging at the signal points in the city like Balmatta, Jyoti and Hampankatta over the past two weeks.
They were doing so under the guise of selling colourful, inflated balloons, mostly heart-shaped. The motorists and pedestrians, waiting for their turn to pass, would hand out alms, either out of pity or just to ward off the nuisance. When the signals got free, these persons not only posed hazards but also exposed themselves to danger of getting hit or killed.
The Childline 1098 team headed by Renny D’Souza conducted a day-and-night operation for three days running at Bunder, Jyoti, Balmatta, Lal Bagh and other junctions and rescued ten children. They were all found to be hailing from Rajasthan. Four of them have been admitted to a school in Bunder and three to an anganwadi in the same vicinity.
A womand and a child were rescued from Falnir. They have been rehabilitated on a temporary basis. It is yet to be seen if they have been engaged into begging by any organized gang.
The Childline team was accompanied by officials from different departments and police teams from Pandeshwar and Bunder.