How it works:
- Situation: begging is actually prohibited here since 1962 (Begging (Prohibition) Act). However, it has not been enforced by the authorities. In 2014, police estimated that there were over 5,000 beggars in Kathmandu.
- Version 1: a woman carrying a baby/child comes up to you, tells you of a sob story and asks if you can spare some money for them to buy milk. If you agree, you will be brought to a shop to buy expensive milk. However, this will be returned to the shop owner with the money split with the scammer.
- Version 2: besides milk, it can be food or daily necessities which in total may cost upwards of USD $50 in Nepal (basically one quarter of the annual wage here)!
- Version 3: an old man claiming to be a reporter asks if you can help him out with his interview/publication. You are then brought to a fancy restaurant and will be made to pay for all dishes ordered. Alternatively, a donation may be asked from you.
- Version 4: a waiter, driver, guide or stranger tells you how his family member is hospitalized and cannot afford the medical bills. A donation is then asked from you.
- Version 5: glue boys who hang around Thamel either asking you for money or to buy something for them which they will return back to the shop for money to buy glue.
Places to beware:
- Kathmandu: Boudhanath Stupa, Durbar Square, Thamel
What to do:
- If you want to help, donate to established charities instead.