No license to beg
An insight into the world of Beggars
What is the greatest dishonor a man can bring upon himself? Murder, Cheating, betrayal,suicide, adultery? No. A man hits his rock bottom when he loses faith in himself. When a man decides that dealing with life all by himself is too much of a task, he brings upon himself the greatest of all disgrace. A person who resorts to begging is a person who embraces his failure in life.
Who is a beggar?
A person who solicits for resources for his personal sustenance is a beggar. He is a person who rests before he gets tired. But, in a philosophical way, anyone who seeks another person’s help despite having the tiniest possibility of doing it on his own is a beggar.
Why do people beg?
The answer is simple. The best way to live life is the easy way. There is always a person who feels responsible for another person’s burden. As long as there are people who don’t care just about themselves, there will always be people who don’t care about themselves.
As men evolved through the ages, begging, too, evolved with him. The most basic principle in the art of begging is that ‘The most pathetic man gets the most money by the end of the day’. Burned eyes, missing limbs and starving infants never fail to loosen a person’s pocket. Nowadays, beggars have manned up to demand money from people. Glaringly, Indian beggars, at times, don’t take coins! And if you do drop a coin you’ll be praised as a miser. In Ramayana, it was Sita’s will to help a beggar that deprived her of a normal, happy life! Most times, a person is not exactly what just meets the eye. When you help out a person who is disabled, you are being charitable. It reflects your generosity and kindness. But when you help out a person who pretends to be disabled, you are being conned. You end up being a fool. The worst part is that you might never realize the subtle disguise.
God doesn’t bestow everyone with the same fighting chance. People who are differently-abled are not always the first choice employees. Life is never easy for them on their own. Even Helen Keller would have been just another deaf and blind person if her family wasn’t filthy rich. And with transgenders, the case is still worse. With people feeling disgusted just to talk to them, where is the question of people hiring them? The roads are narrow for old people- what work could we expect from a man who has no command over his body. These people do not have a choice. The problem is with us, the so-called kind, and sympathetic people. We do not mind to slip a coin to the handicapped every now and then, but hesitate to give them a job. As they say ‘Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’ Such is the irony.
Begging is quite often carried out by organized gangs. For the privilege of begging in a certain territory, each beggar must hand over their takings to the gang’s ringleader, who keeps a significant share of it. Those with potential (an unfair word) are identified and are given the good territories like temples and tourist spots. It turns out that begging is a business and beggars are actually employed! Sometimes children are purposefully blinded or crippled by these gangs to improve their begging resumé. A child is put through miseries that even the worst of men do not deserve. Movies like ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and ‘Nan Kadavul’ have reflected light on the darker sides of the Indian subcontinent.
India is a leading contender for the title of ‘The country with the most beggars’. India is estimated to be home to about 7.3 Lakh such people. When lakhs of people resort to the street, they drag the country’s pride down along with them. The fact that there are websites which have guidelines for tourists to tackle Indian beggar puts every Indian in utter shame. Quite a bit of welfare work in India has been directed at reducing begging, with varying degrees of success. The government comes up with rehabilitation programmes from time to time. The most common problem is that beggars are so used to begging that they actually prefer not to work. Many of them also make more money from begging than what they would if they did work.
Helping people is, was and never will be a crime. But helping people who fail to help themselves will always be one.
‘Never stand begging for what one has the power to do’.
-Miguel De Cervantes
And I strongly believe that every human has the power to take on life on his own.
S.MOHITH KAAMESWARAN (B.E Mechanical, 2014-2018) is a down to earth person who believes that he is just another ordinary man. He believes everybody is a hero and everybody is a villain in somebody’s point of view.
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