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Ashok | by
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Haridwar, India


This is Ashok, he seemed to me a very calm, relaxed and serene person: a free spirit. He spends his days collecting coins from the Ganges, and when hungry he goes begging in front of the restaurants.


I met him before but This was one of the first days that I sat down with him and his friends. He was the youngest of that group and couldn’t speak English, but his friends could. They asked me if I want a cigarette and some Chai (tea); and I said yes. So they started to count and put together the coins to buy that stuff; I took my wallet and offered to pay it, but they didn’t want me to pay.

Most of the other days I offered the Chai but they never wanted or accepted any money; even if they are beggars living there on the street and asking money to other people.

Sometimes one of their beggar friends joined the group asking me for rupees or chapati, but they all immediately told me not to give. One of them (Karren, from the previous picture) wanted to see some Euros, I had 50 cent and told him to keep it if he wants; but then one of the others said; No, I don’t have to give money cause I’m a Friend.


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Taken on August 8, 2014