When 60-year-old Laxmi Das recently deposited her earnings in an Indian bank in Calcutta, it was a bit more than the usual mundane money transfer.
Ms Das handed over 91kg (200lb) of coins - the produce of 44 years of hard begging - enabling her to open an account and qualify for a credit card.
Laxmi began begging near Hatibagan, a busy road junction in northern Calcutta, at the age of 16.
Officials say she could have saved as much as 30,000 rupees ($692).
"She would spend frugally from her daily collection and save the coins. She was very possessive about them," says her sister Asha.
Ms Das saved the coins in iron buckets covered with jute bags at her home in a shanty town near the crossing.
In all, she collected four buckets of coins - of all denominations - some even minted as far back as 1961 and now clearly out of date. More...
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