Baby Hungry Need Some Milk Scam

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#1 Mar 20th, 2008, 17:58
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#1
This one has set me back $60 instantly.

Happened in Dharamsala the first minutes on the street. A totally black colorful dressed Indian woman with a baby on her hands approached me with what I thought to be a request for money. She said however that all she wanted is to feed the baby, so would I be so kind as to buy her baby some milk? No money, just milk. When we entered a nearby kiosk and I was quoted the price for two cans of milk (she wanted three) it was about Rs2500. Thinking about how bad I may be looking if I refuse to pay that amount, I bought her the milk.

Next one proposed to clean my shoes, about Rs20 was my estimation. To my great surprise, he also wanted milk. At that point a heated argument has started among beggars about who should be talking with me, an apparent walking cash machine. After I paid about 50 rupees for shoe polishing, the boy said 'why so little, sir - you gave her two cans of milk while she did nothing for you and I polished your shoes'. :-)
#2 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:11
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That must be the most expensive milk in the world....

This is a good example of why it is wrong to give too much to beggars or other traders -- it causes fights among them and just increases the hassle for you. NEVER think about how little money it is to you or in a foreign currency, or you will give too much.

A couple of weeks ago I was approached by a woman with a toddler at Bhubaneswar station. She had a photocopied certificate saying that she had AIDS. I hadn't seen one of these before and thought that it must have cost her a few rupees. Just in case she really did have AIDS I gave her Rs5 instead of the usual Rs1 or 2. She continued pestering me for about 10 minutes, probably because the last white person had given her Rs100 or something.

Eventually I snapped -- I shouted at her "If I give 5 you want 100, if I give 100 you want 1000, if I give 1000 you want one lakh...." I'm sure she didn't understand the words but she got the message, and actually said "I'm very sorry" with what felt to me like genuine remorse, and went off to beg from other people on the platform.

I felt bad.... I'm sure the shouting was a bad karma on my part, but like you Spacebum I had learnt the hard way about these things, and I had vowed never to pay over the odds again. After all, why should a beggar get from one person more than most Indians get for a day's work?
#3 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SPACEBUM View Post This one has set me back $60 instantly.

Happened in Dharamsala the first minutes on the street. A totally black colorful dressed Indian woman with a baby on her hands approached me with what I thought to be a request for money. She said however that all she wanted is to feed the baby, so would I be so kind as to buy her baby some milk? No money, just milk. When we entered a nearby kiosk and I was quoted the price for two cans of milk (she wanted three) it was about Rs2500. Thinking about how bad I may be looking if I refuse to pay that amount, I bought her the milk.

:-)
Did you pay Rs 2500.00 For 2 cans of Milk? Sheesh!! No wonder the beggars surrounded you. He wanted a can of Milk because it would not cost more than Rs 20. He would be getting some sort of commision for fleecing you.

Be more careful in the future, mate.
#4 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:18
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It gets pretty hard to ignore them i know but just keep in mind to some degree they are very good "Sales" guys's......if you get into a conversation it can end up being a very long one.

Plus in Delhi etc you (the giver) can be fined for giving money to them.
#5 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:23
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#5
How much is milk in your country?

Can I have $100 please? I really need to post a letter.

Milk has just gone up, at least in this state: it is Rs10 for half a litre, full-cream.
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#6 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:23
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Originally Posted by puchoo View Post Plus in Delhi etc you (the giver) can be fined for giving money to them.
That's not fair -- that probably means the police are getting commission from both sides!
#7 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:33
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I forgot to tell - it was powdered milk and the cans were big so probably the price was fair. The shop owner was disappointed when he understood that I am about to shell $60 on a beggar, but said nothing. I think the woman then returns the cans unopened and gets about 80% of the price in cash. Which is a good money, considering that in Dharamsala you can eat an excellent dinner for Rs100-150.

Later I trained myself not to acknowledge their presence. If giving something, it would be a 2-3 rupiahs max. If you are having a conversation with a begger, that means you are willing to give more and he will be dissapointed if you don't meet the expectations.
#8 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:41
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The most amazing of my encounters with beggars was in Delhi. I think they weren't beggars at all, at least to my understanding of a definition, there were rather performing artist. A little girl about 6 years old was dancing and the movements were so well coordinated that it was really a pleasure to watch. Her mother was beating the drum. They had a plastic bag to collect the donations, but weren't pestering anyone. I think this kind of street artists deserve to be paid.
#9 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:45
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Though the women could have been legitimate with a baby that's really hers and hungry, In India you hear stories of women renting babies to look more pathetic so to get more money. It's all mafia controlled. And being in Dharamsala, which attracts alot of foreigners, the odd's are that it's like I said.
And $60 for 2 cans of milk!

Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy her a cow!
#10 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:53
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Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post Wouldn't it have been cheaper to buy her a cow!

No, It would have been more expensive. I recently attended a, for the lack of a better term, 'cow milking contest' In Mysore. I got the info from a reliable source that Rs 40,000 was the going rate for a cow.
#11 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:55
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OK, how about a goat!
#12 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:55
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Not to forget the ones who deliberately go and get their arms/legs amputated to look more helpless as well...

Quote:
Originally Posted by ananda2193 View Post Though the women could have been legitimate with a baby that's really hers and hungry, In India you hear stories of women renting babies to look more pathetic
Could have taken one off the road !!

Quote:
Originally Posted by batistuta View Post No, It would have been more expensive. I recently attended a, for the lack of a better term, 'cow milking contest' In Mysore. I got the info from a reliable source that Rs 40,000 was the going rate for a cow.
Last edited by machadinha; Mar 20th, 2008 at 19:32.. Reason: merged posts
#13 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:56
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#13
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Originally Posted by batistuta View Post No, It would have been more expensive. I recently attended a, for the lack of a better term, 'cow milking contest' In Mysore. I got the info from a reliable source that Rs 40,000 was the going rate for a cow.
Come to Punjab you can have a cow off my uncle for half the price. May even do you a nice water buffalo for a similar price.
#14 Mar 20th, 2008, 18:59
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Originally Posted by puchoo View Post Not to forget the ones who deliberately go and get their arms/legs amputated to look more helpless as well...
Know about those stories also. And also the parents who deliberately cripple their children. Or they steal babies,etc.
#15 Mar 20th, 2008, 19:00
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Originally Posted by shere View Post Come to Punjab you can have a cow off my uncle for half the price. May even do you a nice water buffalo for a similar price.
Surely, you mean to say that He will sell a water buffalo for a similar price? Or am i missing something ?


Spacebum, Sorry to Hijack your thread. Even powdered milk would not have cost you that much. On a brighter note, You helped them survive for a few more days. You will accrue some positve Karma.
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