DAVANAGERE: On Sunday, when civic authorities decided to clear a huge pile from the municipal dustbin near Nittuvalli circle on Hadadi road in Davanagere city, the last thing they expected was to unearth any hidden treasure. But that’s just what they stumbled upon—a bag full of coins. It took half-a-day to estimate the exact amount, which was a mind-boggling Rs 31,200. And the owner of this stash of cash was a 70-year-old beggar, who watched the entire operation, with a frown on her face.
For Kali Bai had never allowed anybody to come near the dustbin, particularly the hawkers and municipal workers. Her tongue-lashing ensured nobody came to lift the garbage until the civic cleanliness drive on Sunday. It was only after a bitter exchange of words with her, that municipal authorities could clear the bin.
Kali Bai, who hails from Laxmipura tanda in Harappanahalli taluk of Davangere district, was engaged in begging for the past 12 years after she was forsaken by her family following her daughter’s marriage. She used to sleep at the bus stand and also in certain bus shelters during nights. She collected the money, mainly coins, in her bag and hid it inside the bin as she found it to be a safe locker, said Kali Bai to police.
Police picked her up after the civic authorities found the bag. KTJ Nagar police took her to the station and it took nine police personnel and more than half-a-day to finish counting the coins. Later, Kali Bai was sent to the women’s rehabilitation centre after she was handed over the money, said SP D Prakash.