Expect nothing, live frugally on surprise.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Begging: Blight or vocation?

“ALLAH KE naam per de de baba” or something similar is what you may hear at crossroads. Whenever a car stops at a traffic signal, young children and physically challenged people in tatters rush for alms.
It seems that India is developing at a faster rate when it comes to begging. The menace is growing manifold. Wherever you go, you will find them gazing at you, seeking your mercy and sympathy albeit in monetary terms.
The beggar population is increasing day by day. A few physically challenged ones might have genuine reasons. But how can one make out that they are not fakes? It might be illiteracy, laziness, sheer habit or ignorance. The beggars don’t want to leave this profession, despite aid from the government or NGO’s.Begging is a full fledged profession and they are not a wee bit ashamed about it. They find it as an easy way of earning their livelihood. Often entire families are engaged in begging.“Do they beg for food or drugs? Is it really hard to earn decently or is it easy to beg? So many questions flood my mind. There seem to be no answers to this problem.
How to solve this menace? Why do people prefer to beg? Are they not embarrassed? Despite the social stigma, the practice continues to gain popularity. There are great many varieties in begging. I once came across a person who showed me a prescription of a doctor and said he needed money to buy medicines. When I told him I would get him all the medicines he needed, he insisted that money be paid to him instead. He preferred to try others who would offer him money.Who are they to beg and who are we to give them alms? It is a strange co-existence between beggars and givers. May be, its not enough to comment and complain about begging. Can we change the system or are we all a part of the decadent system?
If I stretch the argument further, we will find that perhaps all of us are all beggars. We demand money for services and products. Is it fair for the kettle to call the pot black?


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