Thursday, August 30, 2007

On the street....

Yesterday I was in some strange incident. This happened when one of my friend came to meet me when I was at work yesterday. I took a break and went down for Tea, he took tea and we both were chatting standing near the tea stall.

I noticed that one beggar - a not so old lady was coming our way. I quickly searched my pockets for some change and got only one 50 paisa coin. Usually I do not encourage begging, I give to beggars only by quickest judgment I take in a fraction of a second by seeing at their age, condition and face. If the beggar is handicapped or too old only I give something.

But somehow when I saw this beggar I felt that I have to give something. So, when she gave near me I gave her the 50 paisa coin I had with me. Immediately her expression changed and she was still standing in front of us and asking for some more. I told her that I do not have any change to give her and when she looked at my friend asking for something, he said "we already gave so move on". Her reply was "Aatana ki emi vastundi?"(What we will get for 50 paisa).

I was shocked and my reply was "If you don’t get anything, gimme the 50 Paisa back". At that moment I think she was shocked and she moved on. I understand that 50 paisa is not of much value these days that so bad?

Now a days, what I have observed that if you give anything less than 2 rupees, the beggars are not satisfied. I guess begging should be renamed as "Demanding". I see people without any physical problems, middle aged people and women carrying infants begging on streets. I feel that they are just in for easy money.

The worst part is small children begging on the streets. I am strongly against children in begging profession and I never encourage it. If any child is begging and is after me, if that guy convinces me that he is really hungry, I will buy him some food but never give money. I know that even if we are generous and give some money to these children, most part of it would go to their operator or leader. I will talk about Street children at length sometime later, but if you have any ideas or suggestions on improving their life please do send me an email @

The current Government recently launched a drive to irradiate beggars on the street and give them some livelihood. But as far as I know it was a one day show and no one knows what happened to that program, it was just left to hoardings and paper advertisements. Even if the government really want to do something to the beggars, I guess it will not succeed unless the beggars are interested in it.

I am not sure how other countries are managing this problem but I feel that the government should take some strict initiatives to ban begging and give some alternate work to those people. If that happens, it will be a great help to the country and the people.

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