Street Begging: A Menace

Street Begging: A Menace
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Shahid Gul

Begging is the practice of imploring to grant a favor, often a gift of money, with little or no expectation in terms of reciprocation. There are millions of beggars all around the world; they are found everywhere: on the wealthiest streets of West and on the poorest slums of Asia. Their existence was been observed since the dawn of recorded history.
Our world is going through a tremendous transformation; our culture, our norms, and our way of perceiving things are quite different from old decades. We, the youth of Kashmir have stood out for capacious challenges and form the crucible of our society. Today, I have come up with the intricate issue of begging not to increase the flame but to put an end to this menace which is growing with an alarming increase.
According to official statistics, roughly sixty thousand children disappear every year in India. According to some Human Rights Groups, it is much more than sixty thousand; it is also estimated 300,000 children across India are drugged, beaten, and are made to beg every day. According to recent surveys, there are nearly 14, 51,000 beggars in India.
Often times, we see people with dirty faces, wearing tattered clothes greet us with a soothing voice. They are mostly found in crowded markets, in buses, in trains and even outside mosques and shrines. These beggars want to live a dolce vita life on other people’s hard earned money. Some of them are robust and can go for manual labor but the tragedy is that they make begging their profession. These street beggars push their children to do the same job. Before giving alms to anyone, one must see whether the person deserves it or not. Alms should be given to those who are blind, crippled, injured and have any other debilitating defect. (I know it is heart melting scene to see a woman holding her tiny baby on her arms and asks for money). Sometimes these people knock at the windows of cars, buses, and our hearts too by some emotional words.
We the people of Kashmir become emotional on little things but it is the need of an hour to educate our entre nous.
Education has a key role to play to put an end to this menace that has engulfed the whole world like; moral values should be given to children at a very tender age. Government should strengthen the social welfare programs that should be meaningful.
Beggars have different methods to pull at your heart but give able bodied persons a valid reason to shoo them away. If you give a meal to a beggar you can feed him or her for a day but if you teach a beggar how to earn money for himself or herself, you can feed him or her for his lifetime and this is possible only through education or skill development. To completely eradicate begging government has to step in. There are numerous old and crippled people to whom we can’t turn a blind eye. They need to be taken care of by the government.

—The author is a BA, 5th Semester Student at GDC, Pulwama. He can be reached at: