Sri Haryati, a beggar who was recently in the spotlight for carrying gold and Rp 23 million (US$1,696) in cash, claimed that she had only begged for four days, and that most of the money was from previous work.
Untung Triono, an official from the Bina Insan Bangun Daya social home in West Jakarta, which temporarily houses Sri, said on Wednesday that during an interrogation the woman claimed that most of the money was her savings from her previous job as a domestic helper.
“She claimed that she became a beggar for only four days, during which she earned around Rp 3 million. She said she had become a beggar while waiting to find a job,” Untung told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.
Miftahul Huda, spokesperson of the Jakarta Social Agency, previously said that Sri had been a beggar for around five months, operating in many areas across the capital before being apprehended on a pedestrian bridge on Jl. Kramat Sentiong in Central Jakarta during an operation on Sunday.
City Bylaw No. 8/2007 on public order stipulates that panhandling is not allowed in the capital. Both beggars and donors are subject to penalty.
“I didn’t have any intention to become a beggar. I did it while waiting to get a job as a helper. However, it turned out to be enjoyable; there were people who donated their food and in just four days, I could get millions of rupiah,” she told tribunnews.com, adding that she began working as a helper in 1991.
Sri is a resident of Karanganyar in Surakarta, Central Java. She said that she planned to return home after finishing her period at the social home.
Every apprehended beggar is required to sign a pledge not to beg on the street again.