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Pakistan is facing street begging at an alarming ratio. The country is suffering from poverty which has forced hundreds of people to commit suicide, forced women to sell out their children and forced youngsters to leave their homes and start begging. According to a latest survey, a large number of our people are living under poverty line earning less than Rs 4000 per month, which makes it very difficult for a person to live a reasonable life. On the contrary a street beggar is earning more than a normal person.
Begging is supposed to be an easy source of earning money. This is the reason why most of the physically fit young persons are usually seen begging on the streets. This profession now has become an industry (mafia) where young men, women and children are mostly trained, recruited and relocated. These beggars and specifically children come from backward areas of the country. They earn around 200-250 rupees per day. They have to handover their earnings to the mafia which keeps a big chunk of it and leaves a minimum amount for these children to take home. This beggars mafia is exploiting the children.
Beggars are a burden on the society. Some Beggars may really be needy but there numbers are few. Now, our government and we the masses have a responsibility to take appropriate measures to eliminate this curse from our society. The government should introduce some schemes and trainings through which they can earn their future living. There should be strict laws to restrict beggary and police should have powers to punish those who are responsible for bringing them on streets.
Zakat funds should be utilised on deserving persons. Job opportunities should be provide to the eligible persons according to their skills and aptitude.
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The Problem of Beggary in India
“He who begs timidly courts refusal.”
In India, the tradition of charity is as old as civilization itself. The true Indian culture calls upon every man or woman to part with some of his or her earnings to help the poor and needy.
The problem of beggary should not, therefore, be seen in isolation as it has its roots in the basic infrastructure of our society. Beggary is not new to India. It is an age old practice. Many a time in our history books we can read about some king or noble man who periodically distributed gifts amongst the poor. Our holy men and ‘sanyasis’ who lived away from cities used to come to the cities to collect some alms or meals. But today beggary has become a profession. One can find beggars at all busy crossings, at the railway stations or the bus stands, at busy corners, near temples and gurudwaras and at all other places where people are likely to visit. They give out pathetic cries and present pathetic looks. They have different ways of coaxing the innocent people into parting with a coin or two, an article of dress or a part of their food. Many of these beggars are perfect hypocrite and swindlers. Even though they are hefty and sturdy, they are not prepared to earn their living by putting in honest labour.
Many a time the government has taken steps to ban this evil practice. Legislations have been enacted. Beggary has been banned, but it has made no difference. No law can be effective unless it has a social support.
Beggary is a blot on the face of any society and thus it should be tackled and wiped out like any other contagious disease. It is only with the active co-operation of the people that the problem of beggary can be solved. It is true that poverty is one of the main causes of beggary. The government should come out with rehabilitation schemes for the beggars. Able bodied men and women should be encouraged to work. It is only possible if the rich decide not to help the poor in becoming beggars. The old and the infirm should be sent to state run charity houses. Religious institutions and social and charitable trusts should be set up to cater to the needs of such holy men or sanyasis as choose to renounce this world and dedicate themselves to the Almighty or to the service of mankind.
Lack of the proper awareness is one of the causes that makes people accept this evil of begging without protest. Awareness can only come through education. Only if people are educated, they will come forward and cooperate with the government in fighting out this evil. Laxity on the part of the authorities is also encouraging beggars. On account of vested interests the government also hesitates to burn its fingers by using force.
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