By Boshika Gupta
Hyderabad is seeing witnessing unusual changes ahead of Ivanka Trump’s visit to the city for a business summit. Police have been rounding up beggars and taking them to rehabilitation centres, ensuring they’re off the streets and out of sight.
It is expected that around 6000 people will be moved to the centres at the end of the drive. This move has been implemented right before U.S President Donald Trump’s eldest daughter is scheduled to arrive in the city for the event. The Global Entrepreneurship Summit will take place in Hyderabad at the end of this month.
According to the Indian Express, a few beggars stepped up to fight with the authorities. “Some beggars argued that we were taking their freedom to live anywhere they want but we told them it was for their own good because they are going to the rehab centre where they will be taken care of,” an official told the paper.
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened. In 2000, a similar drive was launched when former American President Bill Clinton visited Hyderabad. On Friday, a senior police officer told Agence France-Presse that the latest development was simply a part of routine efforts to curb begging and is not connected to Ivanka’s visit.
Additionally, the city has been dolled up for the event –fresh coats of paint have been applied on buildings and signs, manholes have been taken care of, and roads have been fixed. Meanwhile, Ivanka Trump’s scheduled arrival has already sparked controversies.
In August, an Indian diplomat used strong language against her. He likened her to a “halfwit” Saudi prince after it was announced she would be representing her country at the summit. This was revealed by an Indian journalist, Bobby Ghosh who withheld the name of the diplomat.
Ivanka currently serves as an unpaid adviser to the president and has received sharp criticism in the past. For instance, she was booed after she stood by her father’s attitude towards women at a summit in April for female entrepreneurs in Germany. In July, the former model was also called out for nepotism after she temporarily sat in her father’s seat at a G20 session in Hamburg. She was seated next to world leaders like Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Angela Merkel and Theresa May.
Amy Siskind, president and co-founder of New Agenda, an organization that fights for women’s rights, voiced her opinion on Twitter. “This kind of thing happens all the time. In dictatorships,” she said.
This kind of thing happens all the time. In dictatorships. https://t.co/CKiLwhvjDz
— Amy Siskind (@Amy_Siskind) July 8, 2017