Less than a month after being employed with much fanfare as a masseur in the Chanchalguda prison camp for beggars, Raj Kumar fled the premises while on duty. While officials maintained that they do not stop anyone wishing to go out, Kumar’s close friends claim he left as he felt humiliated.

Fondly called Murugan, Raj Kumar was given with job with Rs 12,000 as salary in the Ayurvedic Village located in the Chanchalguda prison campus. He was given the job for his ‘good conduct’ while staying at the shelter home.

“Prison officials levelled charges against him for not coming neat and tidy to workplace,” said one of Raj Kumar’s friends. Prison officials confirmed that they had asked him to be presentable, clean and tidy while on the job. “He fled from the shelter home on January 4,” said Uday Kumar, who was awarded a job alongside Raj Kumar. “He had complained of stomach ache the day before he fled.” “We do not impose control on anyone, it’s not our job. If they want to go they can but Raj Kumar’s is a peculiar case,” said jailer M Krishnamurthy. “The department asked him to stay but he fled without even claiming salary for the services he rendered.”

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It’s not a rosy picture inside the shelter home. After the “Make Hyderabad a Beggar free city” campaign was intensified, the department hired about 20 people to relocate the beggars, making them bathe, maintain their data and clean toilets. However, these volunteers allegedly resort to manhandling and beat the beggars with canes that they carry with them. On one such occasion when KhabarLive visited the shelter home, a beggar was being beaten by a volunteer for his refusal to take a bath.

When questioned, the volunteer exclaimed: “These beggars never agree to take bath. It’s our duty to ensure they bathe, no matter what.” An official confirmed this. “I would not say that we are not manhandling beggars 100 per cent. Whenever we do, it is when the volunteers lose temper. It is mostly a push,” said an official on duty.

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Vice-principal of State Institute of Correctional Administration (SICA) M Sampat also confirmed that the department was “getting complaints” on beggars being manhandled. “We are getting a lot of complaints about volunteers losing their temper and resorting to manhandling,” he said. “They should be show some basic empathy. And for that reason, we have given a notification to employ only those volunteers who have experience is a social field.” #KhabarLive