With time, digital money is becoming increasingly important in our lives. This is prompting people to integrate technology into their lives. Raju Patel, a beggar from Bihar, is one of them!
On Tuesday, ANI reported that Raju Patel has shed the traditional method of asking for alms and started using PhonePe, a digital wallet and an online payment app.
Bihar | Raju Patel, a beggar in Bettiah, goes digital; accepts PhonePe & puts a QR code around his neck
“I accept digital payments, it’s enough to get the work done & fill my stomach,” said Raju Patel
Visuals from Bettiah railway station pic.twitter.com/nbw83uXop6
— ANI (@ANI) February 8, 2022
Some people, who are amused by Patel’s innovation, have labelled him as “India’s first digital beggar”. Meanwhile, a few people pointed out how technology and digital literacy has done little to eliminate poverty.
“Its both good and bad. Good that digitisation has reached the masses. Bad that govt is not doing enough to reduce beggary, giving jobs and these people themselves feel content with begging and not doing something for themselves to get out of it and brighten their future,” a Twitter user commented.
A few Twitter users from Bettiah also pointed out that Patel is a popular figure at Bihar’s Bettiah railway station.
Why UPI has lead to fetishization of poverty.
Digital payments don’t remove poverty. https://t.co/gzl5yGh5ML
— हीलियोस (@PostSuspension1) February 8, 2022
Its both good and bad. Good that digitisation has reached masses. Bad that govt is not doing enough to reduce beggary, giving jobs and these people themselves feel content with begging and not doing something for themselves to get out of it and brighten their future.
— _Memyself_ (@keepinitomyself) February 8, 2022
He is a very popular beggar in Bettiah and is known for his antics. Last I saw him was in 2005 before I left Bihar. Hasn’t changed at all. https://t.co/dvldfu3UUi
— Shubhendu (@BBTheorist) February 8, 2022
Raju bhai is a famous man now!!
He was earlier an RJP supporter, used to identify himself as the son LPY, now a staunch BJP supporter.
— Aakash Verma ಆಕಾಶ್ ವರ್ಮ 🇮🇳 (@vermaaakash10) February 8, 2022
And then people say Bihar is backward 😀
Discl: Am a proud Bihari. https://t.co/z6jHkcWisR
— Alok Ranjan (@databaaj) February 8, 2022
If this much awareness, intelligence & cleverness is shown in earning by hard work ( in case he is not disabled) he would have made his living more dignified. https://t.co/0r64fRbqdc
— VPC Rao, IRS(Retd) (@RaoVPC) February 8, 2022
He is honourable in seeking alms.. accountably, digital transactions.
There are many other ecosystem minions, less honourable, seek funds & fail accountability. https://t.co/Qc68ry0UI5
— Dr. Suchitra Raghavachari (@DrSRaghavachari) February 8, 2022
— jitendra singh (@jitendra161) February 8, 2022
Explaining his need to innovate, Patel told ANI, “Many times, people refused to give me alms saying that they did not have cash in smaller denominations. Many travellers said that in the era of e-wallets there is no need to carry cash anymore. Due to this, I opened a bank account and an e-wallet account.”
He added, “I accept digital payments, it’s enough to get the work done and fill my stomach.”