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Let us stop giving alms to Beggars

Ahmedabad, July 2018: Begging is a complex social problem with no quick fix. The way we come across various reports on begging brings out the fact that shows that beggars are so used to begging that they actually prefer not to work. The war on beggars is engined by enormous middle class hostility to the begrimed men, women and children in rags, often with matted hair, disabilities and sores, who stretch out their palms peremptorily demanding our charity. There are Paisewaale Beggars which shows that many of them make more money from begging that what they would if they did work. In my opinion the beggars are on the streets because society has failed them. Our social and political systems have broken down and cannot therefore look after them. If you ask me should we give alms, my honest opinion will be a big “NO”. I have personally found that most of the beggars are not disabled. Most of them are able bodied. Children often beg because their parents and guardians send them out to beg, or simply because they do not feed them.

They may do this because they are destitute, such as single homeless mothers, or when parents are addicted to substances, very ill and disabled, or when children have no responsible adult protection. They can earn money by doing some sort of work. But they beg because they are lazy. The notion that begging is a crime derives not just from fears of begging mafias, but also from the conviction that begging is the first resort of the lazy poor. They think that begging is the easiest way of living. Such situation has been arisen due to various factors prevailing in our society. Poverty, parental death and illness, loss of parental love and affection and loss of love and affection of their children are some of them. Can’t we think where do the beggars go if no one gives alms? Will they go hungry and die in mass? Absolutely “No”. I opine that the first step towards preventing begging is to stop giving alms.

One must remember that it is perfectly normal protocol to ignore beggars in a given situation, but don’t lecture them on how they should live their life or spend their money.
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