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Title: BEGGING AS A MEANS OF LIVELIHOOD: CONFERRING WITH THE POOR AT THE ORTHODOX RELIGIOUS CEREMONIAL DAYS IN ADDIS ABABA
Authors: Demewozu, Woubishet
Keywords: Begging
Means of livelihood
Conferring with the poor
Orthodox religious ce remonial days
Addis Ababa.
Issue Date: Mar-2005
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African study monographs. Supplementary issue.
Volume: 29
Start page: 185
End page: 191
Abstract: The present ethnographic account, written with insight and sympathy, of the life and problems of the poorest beggars examines life on the street corner, a frontier that was beginning to be made to forcedly and violently vanish by the government after the field work for this study was completed. As such, attempts were made to picture the life of the urban poor on the streets and churchyards of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The problem of beggary has a lot to do with the country's socio-economic and historical trajectories of poverty characterized by low incomes, high unemployment rates, fast-rising cost of living, high rates of population growth, inappropriate public policies and continued rural-urban migration and displacement. The beggars as impoverished underclass presently find themselves in extreme and multifaceted destitution: chronic food shortage and insecurity, illiteracy, homelessness or poor housing often on unsuitable land, disease, unsanitary living conditions, death and above all marginalization and exclusion. The actions and reactions of the destitute beggars are largely restricted to their own habitat; in the social milieu in which they are surviving by themselves within the limits of the larger society by which they are surrounded, from which they are, in large part, outcasts. Social interactions, lacking depth both in the past and in the present, are reflected in terms of support, competition and conflict. Ownership of the poverty agenda, short-term and long-term planning and programming, and sustainability are not likely to come about unless people, and particularly the elites are aware of the dimensions of the problem, have considered and discussed the many causes involved, and have themselves developed programmes and organizational structures for monitoring poverty and implementing pro-poor policies.
DOI: 10.14989/68433
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/68433
Appears in Collections:29 (Environment, Livelihood and Local Praxis in Asia and Africa)

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