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Thursday, September 20, 2012

China rounds up and puts its beggars in CAGES ... so they couldn't spoil the fun at town fair

By SARA MALM

Caged: Visitors to the town fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi province walk past beggars in cages where they have been forced to stay so as not to spoil the experience for tourists

Beggars at a religious folk festival in southern China have been ordered to stay in purposely built cages, or be removed from the festivities.
Organisers gave the beggars an ultimatum saying their presence ruins the experience for visitors at the temple fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi province and if they wished to beg they had to do so from inside small cages.
The zoo-like cages are so small adults are unable to stand and although they are free to leave at will, they are immediately banished from the festival area and have to leave the town if they do so.

Behind bars: A woman is laughing with a young child inside one of the zoo- like cages where beggars are kept during the temple festival after organisers complained they 'spoil' the celebrations

The annual fair celebrates a religious holy day with a funfair, market and entertainment as pilgrims come to the temple from all over China.
Due to the thousands of visitors it has become a magnet for down-and-outs looking for charity from tourists.
‘This year we decided we would no longer accept beggars wandering everywhere, distressing our guests and spoiling it for everyone else,' explained one organiser before adding that no one is forcing them to beg and that they have voluntarily entered the cages.

'Human zoo': The cages are so small the 'inmates' are unable to stand and their conditions have outraged human rights campaigners in China who accuses the festival of keeping a 'human zoo'

‘Over the last few years we have had increasing numbers of beggars turning up at the festival and it was becoming very intruding for our visitors. They were being harassed and made to feel uncomfortable.
‘We had no choice but to ban them from the grounds. We found the cages a good solution for everyone. People can still give them donations if they desire too but are not harassed and followed around the festival when they are having a day out with their families.
‘The beggars are quite comfortable in their cages, people send them food and water as gifts. In a way it is better for them there than having to find a place on the busy streets.'

Locked or banned: The festival organisers have said the beggars are free to leave their cages at any time, but if they do they also have to leave the city and the fair immediately

‘Our guests come here to enjoy themselves and that is our top priority.
‘The beggars can leave whenever they like but they have to leave the city too, they can't go into the fair,’ they added.
The cages have infuriated human rights campaigners in China who have branded them a human zoo saying it breaches human rights.

source: dailymail



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