“Should we give money to beggars?” How many times has the question haunted you? How many times have you questioned your humanity for ignoring a beggar or a homeless child who was begging for money?
Often, while hanging out with friends or family, you come across so many beggars who beg in front of you for some money so they can grab a handful to eat and calm their hungry stomachs. Some of us give away a few bucks because of our human heart that forces us to do it while some of us give away money simply because we are happy. I remember my friend giving away a ten-rupee note to a little boy because it was his birthday. He was swarmed by so many more the moment after. Then, there are people who simply ignore them or even scold them for following them endlessly. Some of us look at those people in hate.
Therefore, the question that arises is – “what is right? Should we give money to beggars or should we stand against it?
This girl approached me when I was travelling in a battery operated rickshaw with my friends, and as usual, I was torn apart with the same question. When you look in those eyes, you really want to help, but should you? If yes, then how?
Though everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I would like to throw some light on the other side of the coin. Many of the people are not aware of the fact that most of the beggars are part of a large chain; a chain of people for whom begging has emerged out as a ‘no loss businesses. Many of us don’t know that children are being kidnapped and forced into begging by such people because this is the easiest source of income for them. Are you encouraging the whole evil business by giving money to those children?
Then there are beggars in their youth or adult age. I have seen specially-abled rickshaw pullers who pull their rickshaw under the blazing sun to earn their living and to look after their families. And, I have seen people indulging in a quarrel with them for five rupees, the same five rupees that they will happily give away to a beggar who is merely standing under the shade of a tree with his hand stretched out and palm open. I have seen men and women climbing up the local trains and buses, selling, pens, books, toys etc. And I have seen them de-boarding without a single sale. Those people who might give away ten bucks to a beggar refrain themselves from buying three pens that cost ten bucks as well. Are they encouraging people to abandon it all and beg instead?
I never give away money to beggars. However, that does not stop me from helping them. Here is what you can do to really do something humane without encouraging begging or the business chains that are expanding their grips on our society:
- Whenever, you see someone begging and telling you how hungry, he/she has been, you can simply offer food and water. If you are giving away money, you can never be sure for what purpose that money will be used. As per the stats, most of these beggars use the money to consume local drugs and alcohol.
- You can also offer them clothes that can help them fight the climate.
Begging is emerging out as a profession. If you are giving money to beggars, you are actually supporting it. The majority of the beggars can indulge into some kind of work, but they don’t because begging counts for easy money.
Therefore, it is a humble request to look into the other side with an open mind. What you might be terming a kind gesture can actually prove to be evil in the society.
Oh, and please do buy those pens, stickers, toy figures when you find someone selling them. You spend tons of money on other stuffs. A ten-rupee note won’t make much difference to you, but it will actually encourage the seller to keep working hard and earn his bread in a respectful manner.