Friday, November 10, 2006
A headline you don't see every day, from today's Associated Press: 20 Eunuchs to Collect Taxes in India:
One cash-strapped Indian city has launched a unique collection service to dislodge payment from tax deadbeats: Door-to-door eunuchs. Eunuchs -- a term used in India to describe transvestites, postoperative transsexuals and hermaphrodites -- traditionally make a living on tips for dancing at weddings or for blessing newborns. They frequently refuse to leave until they are given money.
Patna, the capital of Bihar state in eastern India, hired scores of them Wednesday to compel shop owners to pay their back taxes. "We are confident that their reputation and persuasive skills will come in handy for the municipal authorities to collect taxes from defaulters," said Bharat Sharma, a revenue officer....
The eunuchs get 4 percent of what they collect from defaulters, and will soon be asked to help collect outstanding taxes from homeowners, Prasad said.