We all must have come across beggars in our day-to-day lives. Beggars in front of temples, on roads, at the corners of street food stalls, market areas, at the signals, basically everywhere. When I was young, I used to be emotional looking at the tormented conditions of beggars. Unwashed hair and clothes, disabled limbs and some even worst with empty milk bottles and babies hanging by them. But then gradually with time, I came to know how fake, unreal, irresponsible they may be. Masquerading as needy, sick and physically impaired, these people play with our emotions. In reciprocation, sometimes people also receive curse.
However, in reality, beggars turn out to be far more rich beyond our expectations and spend their entire lives very luxuriously. In India, almost half a million people beg everyday for their livelihood. It has become a family tradition for some, while some consider it as a side income. But it becomes the worst when people commit crimes in the parlance of begging. Nowadays, people have started begging through Internet in the form of donations.
The concept of beggars or bhikshuk has a long history in ancient India. To reach salvation, Buddhists monks had to undergo the phase of begging where they were required to beg minimum alms necessary for livelihood but present day, it seems people have moulded and customized them to fulfill their innate needs.
Begging has been banned in many parts of our country but to abolish it totally requires our full fledged responsibility as well. Avoid giving big amounts to beggars and try to donate to elderly or physically impaired only. Together we can make it happen!
By: Subrata Dey