With a net worth of INR 7.5 crores (nearly a million USD), Bharat Jain has become famous all over the world and most media calls him the “World’s Richest Beggar”. The story was broadcast on television, social networks and newspapers around the world.
So how rich is he exactly?
According to the Economic Times, Bharat Jain was not educated because he was too poor and had to beg for a living. Unlike their father, Bharat Jain’s children completed their education and got jobs.
Bharat Jain, the richest beggar in the world
Born into poverty, Bharat Jain was not well educated. Life for him and his family was difficult at first without any fixed income.
Bharat Jain lives in Mumbai, the financial capital of India and home to Bollywood, where the cost of living is extremely high. He started begging on the street 10 to 12 hours a day to meet his money needs.
Gradually, his monthly income from begging reached from INR 60,000 to INR 75,000 (VND 17 million to VND 21 million). His familiar begging areas are around the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station and the Azad Maidan sports ground.
Both these locations are among the most prime locations in Mumbai. In which, Chhatrapati Shivaji station, formerly Victoria station, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Mumbai, India, is a busy place of people passing by day and night.
Chhatrapati Shivaji station.
At the present time, he is said to be the richest beggar in India and arguably the world. His net worth is 7.5 crores INR, which equates to almost a million USD. Even the middle-class people in India who work 8 to 10 hours a day do not possess such wealth.
Bharat Jain’s “Getting Rich” Journey
According to the latest global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) data released by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI), over the past 15 years, India has seen 415 million people lift themselves out of poverty at or below the poverty line.
Bharat Jain was a man from a poor background. The only livelihood he knew was “begging”, and he managed to make it strangely profitable.
His family consists of his wife, two sons, an older brother and his father. Through the process of begging, Bharat Jain amassed a sum of money and invested his earnings in real estate so that he could earn a profit from it.
Despite repeated requests from his family to stop his “practice” of begging, Bharat still spends 10 to 12 hours a day on the streets of India’s financial metropolis begging. This means that Bharat Jain’s fortune will increase further in the future.
At the moment, he owns a two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai worth INR 1.2 crore (about VND 3.4 billion) and two rental shops in Thane that generate a monthly rental income of INR 30,000 (approximately VND 8.5 million).
Although he could not complete his studies, his two sons were able to study well. Other members of his family are now running a stationery store and have successfully escaped poverty. Bharat and his family live in a one-bedroom, lounge and kitchen apartment in Parel, Mumbai.
Despite repeated requests from his family to stop his “practice” of begging, Bharat still spends 10 to 12 hours a day on the streets of India’s financial metropolis begging.
While many people in India are working long hours a day to earn a few hundred rupees, Bharat Jain, who is known as “the richest beggar in the world”, earns more than 2,000 INR a day by begging beggars for alms. Over the years, Jain has amassed a fortune of nearly $1 million including a two-bedroom apartment in Mumbai city in the state of Maharashtra and two shops in Thane city that rent it out for INR 30,000 a month.
In India, there is no law that punishes begging. However, some states and union territories have anti-begging laws based on the “Bombay Begging Prevention Act of 1959”. According to this act, a “beggar” is a person without any obvious means of subsistence and “begging” includes asking or receiving alms in public, whether for singing, dancing, fortune telling or showing signs of illness, deformity, etc. But the act also gives the police the power to arrest or detain any beggar without a warrant.
By that definition, it is a bit odd for Bharat Jain to continue begging on the streets, despite being almost a millionaire. While most people in India who work 10 to 12 hours a day may not make $10, he still makes 2,000 to 2,500 INR ($25 to 35) a day, just by the kindness of people.