Director of school for blind children/ orphans collecting cash in Lodhi park, Delhi

#1 Dec 29th, 2006, 15:27
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  • BenV is offline
#1
My wife and I were walking in Lodhi park, Delhi, a week ago and while my wife was taking pictures somewhere else, I was approached by a man. He wanted to shake hands (nothing uncommon), welcoming me to India and putting a pin on my jacket. He then started talking about a school for blind children and orphans and he wanted me to write my name on a list and help the school.
He presented me this long list of names (in different handwriting) with amounts like Rs500, Rs1000 next to them, suggesting these people gave him this type of money. I said to him that these are serious amounts of money, after which he said that I am free to give whatever I feel reasonable. During writing my name I felt uncomfortable and said to him that I have no single reason to trust him. He promptly showed me some pass or rather a laminated piece of paper with his photograph and some title like "manager of school for orphans", some kind of stamp, some phrases about orphan childeren and several times abbreviations like "govt. appr." et cetera. I said to him that he could easily have fabricated that himself and that I want more proof and in particular a bank-account so that I can check his credibility and possible donate money that way. I in particular mentioned to him that I already once encountered a scam like that in South-Africa. He probably started to realize I was not a naieve first-timer and became somewhat aggitated. He said that not all fingers are alike and that some people are bad and some people are good. I insisted on him giving me his bankaccount. He then said that he only wanted cash. I told him that I will not give him that.
He then got angry and took away the pin from my jacket and walked away quickly.

I started to realize that this indeed was a scam and that only my automatic precaution had prevented me from being tricked into it. A manager is not going to collect cash in the park.

(A word of warning: we did encounter this in Nepal a couple of times as well, even during trekking. My wife only gave very small amounts then!)

My advice: better not give money at all unless there are alternative ways to donate and there is reliable evidence you are not being tricked.
#2 Dec 29th, 2006, 15:40
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It is sad, but true that all sorts of scamsters and fake NGOs operate in India in the name of aiding the blind, the handicapped, disabled, orphans and victims of natural calamities. There is an "industry" operating out of Mumbai that milks international aid agencies in the garb of working with people living with HIV/AIDS.
#3 Dec 30th, 2006, 11:55
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  • pennylessinindia is offline
#3

orphans

this sort of scam is as old as the hills and happens all over the world!! We would not give like this in Europe or anywhere else why do it here!!
Of course poverty pushes folk to do this but sadley so many tourists fall for it they keep doing it!!

mumbai has a great one womens begs for tinned baby milk which is very expensive tourists taken to shop pays rs 250 - 300 for tin feeels very good about self - women takes tin back shop makes money so does woman. Babe never sees the toursits kindness.

It makes living here tough but you become very careful
#4 Dec 30th, 2006, 12:12
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#4
ANd I wonder if anyone ever bothers to check the Manufacturer's Retail Price, which will be printed on the container!
~
Life gets aadhar every day.
.
#5 Dec 30th, 2006, 18:32
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In Mamallapuram there are several orphanages, and tourists are taken to meet the kids and then asked to donate money.
Over a few years I got to know a local guy called [--] - a fisherman. He confided in me that the orphanages are FAKE, the "orphans" are just village kids on day trips, who get paid a little money. I checked this with the owners of a well known business in the area, and they too confirmed that it was all a set-up. The scamsters approach tourists, but they don't ask for money, they simply say: please come and meet the kids so they can learn a bit of English. Who could say "no"?? Then after they meet all those great kids (who don't even know it's a scam) the organizers ask for money to help run the place, and duped tourists cough up hundreds, maybe thousands of Rupees.

[--] = came back and took his name out
#6 Dec 30th, 2006, 18:43
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These scams of the emotional blackmail kind prevail in India. I've seen em all the the talking deaf and dumb kids, the blind kid that sees the ice cream guy coming, the cripple playing cricket, crocodile tears.

A regular on the Paharganj, dressed as a school girl collecting for Bangladesh until she was about 32

She stopped this a few years back but is still collecting for Bangledesh!!

What can you do this is India!!

Spirit of Havlock, I could tell you some even worse stories about some of the orphanages in Mahabs!!
#7 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:13
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Spirit of Havlock, I could tell you some even worse stories about some of the orphanages in Mahabs!![/QUOTE]

Get it all off your chest Cyberhip - do tell!
#8 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:14
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They also traffic kids for pediophiles!!
#9 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:24
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Scams abound in India. Often you may encounter groups of young girls on trains or in public places, who will quickly hand out printed cards claiming they are inmates of some orphanage run by a charity. Any donations given to them only perpetuate the cycle of organized beggary, pimping and prostitution.
#10 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:33
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The are children collecting on the beaches of Goa for their schools etc. They also carry signed testimonials and various government forms of id. I have one charity that I support in India. I know it is authentic, and I give to them in place of giving it to various questionable people/organizations in India. It is sad that there are so many people who want to help, but are faced with scams ranging from very simple methods to intricate facades in order to get people to part with their money. I think these scams also hurt those that are honestly in need because it makes it more difficult to get donations as tourist become wise to the scams. I remember the boy whose story got worse and worse the more he told it to people. Everyday was his birthday, and would we buy him a birthday cake because his father had drank away all the money that his mother had put away for him...
#11 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:42
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Quote:
They also carry signed testimonials and various government forms of id.
Even these are misused or faked Casey, the talking deaf and dumb kids I spoke of had all the official looking stamps. Funny thing was they could both hear and talk!!

I support one little charity albeit in a small way. I've also racked up enough expereince to tell more or less what constitues a "real begger" and frequently give to them!!
#12 Dec 30th, 2006, 19:58
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#12
Oh, yes, they are fake. When people don't give to the children, out come their school managers, complete with tie to appeal to you that this is an official way for the school to collect money. I didn't see anyone giving any money to them, nor to all the deaf children that hand you cards asking for money.

I do feel for the children that are badly disfigured, or the woman whose face is so badly burnt that she is let out to the corner to beg. Often, I will give to the old woman wandering about on her own, happy for the banana rather than to the organized young women carrying the babies who often scorn the food offered.

I have a friend in Indonesia who is working with Tsunami relief money. He tells me of all the bribes that the money has to be used for in order to actually get the work done that the money was intended for. I guess greed exists wherever generosity is to be found.

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