Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest nations, and one of the most densely populated.
SV Three beggars sitting by side of road in Dhaka City.
SV Beggar ZOOM INTO money collected.
SV Beggars' families, children being fed in streets.
SV Beggar crawling on hands and knees along street.
SV Man with no legs being pushed through street in trolley.
SV Beggars on steps of mosque as people go into worship. (4 SHOTS)
SV Man laying in road with begging bowl.
SVs Beggars receiving food in mass distribution. (4 SHOTS)
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Background: Bangladesh is one of the world's poorest nations, and one of the most densely populated. The annual per capita income of about 100 dollars (US) per year, means the country also has the world's greatest number of beggars. At the last census - three years ago - nearly ten per cent of the population of 89 million had been reduced to begging for food and money. With rising inflation and the economic recession it is likely their number have increased. The Bangladeshi Government, headed by Lieutenant-General Hossain Mohammad Ershad, has attempted to instigate a 'Food for Work' programme, and western countries have donated millions of dollars in foreign aid. Many of those begging in the streets, however, are physically handicapped, and for most there is no alternative. The Government has planned a massive birth-control campaign in an effort to reduce the population, but it appears to be having little effect. Many of the beggars ask for alms near mosques, where people attending services give money to the men, women and children camped on the steps. There is some mass distribution of food among the poorest but thousands still go hungry.