see how india is improving...ahhahahaha... PATNA: She is no small-time beggar. For, she not only boasts of two insurance policies for which she pays Rs 36,000 as premium annually, she also has a bank account with a hefty amount to boot. Meet Sarvatia Devi. In her early forties, Sarvatia has been a beggar ever since she became a widow about 25 years ago. "They know me well enough at the STD booth on Ashok Rajpath where I go everyday to exchange coins, which I collect begging, for notes," she says pulling out a pile of notes from the sack which she keeps while begging near the Darbhanga Kalibari here. Coins are of no use to Sarvatia. For, the insurance agent and the agent of a local finance company, whom she meets in the evening near Patna Market, only accept currency notes to deposit. One among the city's burgeoning population of professional beggars, Sarvatia is neither a destitute nor a homeless. "On Tuesdays and Saturdays when people throng the Kalibari, I earn between Rs 300 and Rs 400. Other beggars of the locality do not generally encroach on my territory," she says. On other week days, however, she sells vegetables both in the morning and evening. "Begging is no longer a compulsion for me. But its easier to beg here as the police do not trouble me. Moreover, the people are kind," she says. Today she boasts of having a "comfortable home" behind Ashok Cinema besides a well-settled married daughter. After she was provided a home for shelter by the state government, Sarvatia started to make savings for her only daughter. "About five years ago I met an insurance agent who suggested that I should invest my money by purchasing insurance policies. I fell for it and opted for two policies," Sarvatia says adding that she also has a bank account against her name. Even her insurance agent admits: "The woman has purchased two short-term policies worth Rs 3 lakh and Rs 1 lakh for which she pays an annual premium of Rs 31,000 and Rs 5,000 respectively". Interestingly, she has travelled across the country and even been on pilgrimage to many holy places, all by begging. "It's a fun travelling on trains free of cost. I board any train and beg till I reach my destination," says Sarvatia laughing aloud.