Beggars beg for a living. They usually do not have a house to live in. While some of them reside in slum areas many are denied entry even at such places. They lead their lives living on the footpath. Of the various problems which our country faces today, the problem of begging is one of the acute ones. It is estimated that there are about 40 lakh beggars in India. Indeed, begging has become a profession. It is carried on as an art. There are organizations which train children in the art of begging. Orphaned and kidnapped children are engaged in this profession from early childhood. Some criminals when they come back from jails are not treated sympathetically by society. They are not given any chance to begin their life afresh. They become beggars and find shelter in this profession. Apart from male, female and old aged, children are also indulged in this activity. From a very early age they are indulge in begging that too by their parents, result is that they also ultimately became beggars and remain illiterate and doesn’t opt for any other living. As children are sympathized they get more alms, so beggars tends to reproduce more to get more helping hands. They forget that children are their responsibility and not utility. Beggars are constantly neglected and exploited due to which they lose their self esteem and want to do something better. Beggars are the symbol of inequality and are an important issue of human rights which must be addressed immediately. Begging is a serious problem. Even though government is taking measures to stop it and many NGOs have been formed to eradicate this problem.
|Serial No.||Approximate age of beggar||Sex||Able to work||No. of children/siblings||Literate/Illiterate, Going to School or not (for children)|
|5.||35||M||Yes||N.A||Till 4th or 5th standard|
Causes of Beggary
- Biological Causes – persons suffering from chronic illness, disability, insanity and old age are left by members of their family on their own, and due to their incapability of earning livelihood they beg.
- Social Causes – We are social animals and need society to live better life but. Social disorders like the breakdown of joint family, cultural conflict, community disorganization, migration, etc leave economically backward and vulnerable people with no resources, no property, no employment and the only option left with them is begging. Children run away from their home because of abuse, hunger or in search of jobs, widows who are accepted neither by her in-laws nor by her own parents are left with nothing.
- Forced Beggary – At least 300,000 children across India are drugged, beaten and forced to beg every day, in what has become a multi million rupee industry controlled by human trafficking cartels. According to the Indian National Human Rights Commission, up to 40,000 children are abducted in India every year, of which at least 11,000 remain untraced. Children are sometimes maimed or burned to elicit greater sympathy and get more alms. Children are used as an object of sympathy, they are forced to beg, and they are presented pitifully. This is not just against right to education and human rights but also a crime and can be categorize as slavery.
- Natural Calamities and Famines – natural calamity and disasters like tsunami, earthquake and famines and epidemic results in the huge loss of man and property. People lose all of their savings, resources, property, employment etc.. Though government aid them but usually it is either insufficient to recover the losses or never reach them.
- Lack of sufficient employment – Lack of sufficient employment of national opportunities, effective welfare schemes for the weaker sections of society, indebtness and exploitation by criminal gangs are responsible for this condition of society. Criminal gangs who kidnap children and train them to arouse pity of others often organize beggary.
- Lack of proper awareness – it 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.
What can be done to remove the problem of beggary?
- First of all, it is essential that stronger measures to be taken to wipe out the criminal gangs who organize begging.
- Beggars home should be opened where they are given vocational training so that they can earn a decent living.
- Public should be educated to understand that they should not encourage begging by giving alms to such people.
Beggars should be encouraged to work and lead a life of dignity.