Beggars caged for China festival

FESTIVAL organisers in China have been slammed for putting beggars in cages - so they wouldn’t bother visitors.The cages were designed to keep beggars away from the thousands of tourists attending a huge temple fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi province.The fair - like a religious holy day, market and funfair all in one - has become a magnet for people down on their luck looking for handouts. But the cages have infuriated human rights campaigners in China who branded them a human zoo. “They are treating them like zoo animals. What will they have to do next - tricks for their food?” said one.A spokesman for the organisers said: “This year we decided we would no longer accept beggars wandering everywhere, distressing our guests and spoiling it for everyone else. The beggars are quite comfortable in their cages, people send them food and water as gifts. They can leave whenever they like but they have to leave the city too, they can’t go into the fair.” –MO

on epaper page 11
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