New Delhi. The begging mafia in Delhi is getting ingenious and keeping with modern times. After using pictures of Hindu gods and goddesses to extract money from the believers, beggars are now using pictures of Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, and swindling money from internet savvy residents of the national capital in the name of donation to the community driven free web-based encyclopedia.
“I was surprised when this 9-year-old kid knocked on my window and showed me Jimmy’s picture,” Rashi Taneja, a final year MBA student at FMS recalled her experience when she was driving last evening, “Of course I use Wikipedia for my project reports too often and I couldn’t help giving 50 rupees to the kid, who gave a thumbs-up to me as if liking something on Facebook.”
It was only later that Rashi realized that she might have been cheated, for an organization like Wikimedia Foundation would never employ child labor and begging tricks for raising funds.
“I was shocked to find out that there was no mention of ‘donating on traffic lights to beggars’ as a way to give money to Wikipedia on their website,” Rashi said, “Oh my god, I guess he was the same kid who had sold me a heart-shaped balloon for 100 rupees on Valentine’s Day.”
The Delhi police have denied any knowledge of the fake Wikipedia donation racket being run by the begging mafia in the city.
“Begging was banned only during the Commonwealth Games,” Ranjeet Sharma, a traffic police constable informed, “we can’t act against them till there is any written complaint against this Jimmy guy. Who is he by the way?”
Unlike the police department, the begging mafia in Delhi has accessed and updated themselves with all the information about Jimmy Wales, and the beggars have been trained to answer any queries by suspecting Wikipedia users.
“His first wife’s name was Pam,” says 13-year-old Suraj designated at India Gate, further adding with a wink, “Not Pamela Anderson if you thought so.”
Ravindar, the kingpin of the begging mafia in Delhi, confirms that the latest “initiative” has returned favorable results and they were all set to take the campaign to the next stage and make it more “impactful”.
“We have ordered Jimmy Wales masks, similar to Narendra Modi and Rahul Gandhi masks,” informs Ravindar, “our kids would wear them and suddenly appear at the windscreens of cars at traffic lights, just like Jimmy Wales’ picture suddenly loads on a Wikipedia pages currently.”