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China rounds up and puts its beggars in CAGES … so they couldn’t spoil the fun at town fair

  • Temple fair in  Nanchang, Jiangxi place beggars in ‘zoo-like’ cages
  • Ceiling of cages  so low the ‘inmates’ are forced to sit
  • If the  beggars chose to leave they are banished from the city

By Sara Malm

PUBLISHED:08:05 EST, 19  September 2012| UPDATED:13:16 EST, 19 September 2012

Beggars at a religious folk festival in  southern China have been ordered to stay in purposely built cages, or be removed  from the festivities.

Organisers gave the beggars an ultimatum  saying their presence ruins the experience for visitors at the temple fair in  Nanchang, Jiangxi province and if they wished to beg they had to do so from  inside small cages.

The zoo-like cages are so small adults are  unable to stand and although they are free to leave at will, they are  immediately banished from the festival area and have to leave the town if they  do so.

Caged: Visitors to the town fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi province walk past beggars in cages where they have been forced to stay so as not to spoil the experience for tourists
Caged: Visitors to the town fair in Nanchang, Jiangxi  province walk past beggars in cages where they have been forced to stay so as  not to spoil the experience for touristsThe annual fair celebrates a religious holy  day with a funfair, market and entertainment as pilgrims come to the temple  from all over China.

Due to the thousands of visitors it has  become a magnet for down-and-outs looking for charity from tourists.

‘This year we decided we would no  longer  accept beggars wandering everywhere, distressing our guests and  spoiling it for  everyone else,’ explained one organiser before adding that no one is forcing  them to beg and that they have voluntarily entered the cages.

‘Over the last few years we have had  increasing numbers of beggars turning up at the festival and it was  becoming  very intruding for our visitors. They were being harassed and  made to feel  uncomfortable.

‘We had no choice but to ban them from the  grounds. We found the cages a good solution for everyone. People  can still give  them donations if they desire too but are not harassed  and followed around the  festival when they are having a day out with  their families.

‘The beggars are quite comfortable in  their  cages, people send them food and water as gifts. In a way it is  better for them  there than having to find a place on the busy streets.’

Behind bars: A woman is laughing with a young child inside one of the zoo- like cages where beggars are kept during the temple festival after organisers complained they 'spoil' the celebrations
Behind bars: A woman is laughing with a young child  inside one of the zoo- like cages where beggars are kept during the temple  festival after organisers complained they ‘spoil’ the celebrations
'Human zoo': The cages are so small the 'inmates' are unable to stand and their conditions have outrages human rights campaigners in China who accuses the festival of keeping a 'human zoo'
‘Human zoo’: The cages are so small the ‘inmates’ are  unable to stand and their conditions have outraged human rights campaigners in  China who accuses the festival of keeping a ‘human zoo’‘Our guests come here to enjoy themselves and  that is our top priority.

‘The beggars can leave whenever they like but  they have to leave the city too, they can’t go into the fair,’ they  added.

The cages have infuriated human rights  campaigners in China who have branded them a human zoo saying it breaches human  rights.

‘They are treating them like zoo animals.  What will they have to do next – tricks for their food?,’ one said. ‘This is  nothing less than public humiliation.’

‘Do they want people to believe the  region  has no poor people and just put on a good show? These people need help. We  should not be allowing them to be locked away in cages. These  people are human  beings too.’

Locked or banned: The festival organisers have said the beggars are free to leave their cages at any time, but if they do they also have to leave the city and the fair immediately
Locked or banned: The festival organisers have said the  beggars are free to leave their cages at any time, but if they do they also have  to leave the city and the fair immediately

Many pilgrims who had some to enjoy the fair,  but most importantly honour the religious holiday, were outraged by the  treatment of the beggars.

Lu Cheng who was visiting the temple  with  his family said: ‘I was horrified to see these poor people in  cages. We came  for a nice day out with the family, but it was  distressing to see fellow humans  kept like animals in a cage.

‘These people deserve better treatment and  should be able to visit the festival just like everyone else. If  people decide  to give them food, money or water that is up to them.’

Traditionally people visited the temple to  pay their sacrifices to Buddhist gods.

Thousands of people from many  different  provinces make the pilgrimage to the temples and due to its  popularity the  nearby town has turned the event into a fair with folk  shows, traditional  foods, markets with local delicacies and attractions  for children.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2205536/China-rounds-CAGES-beggars—didnt-spoil-view-town-fair.html#ixzz26yBTPPy0 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

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