Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What foreign nationals feel about India and her beggars!

Ron (a friend of mine from the US working in India for over a year now), like any other guest in India thinks that beggars are one of the worst things about this country! He did see 'Slumdog Millionaire' and was offended by the sequences involving the beggars (and how they are 'made'). But, now that he has been in this country for quite sometime, he has stopped being 'nice' to the beggars (even the small children) and has in fact pretty strong reasons for not being charitable. I will write them down for you here:
  • He has seen a number of beggars 'getting ready for work' early morning when he goes for a jog. One beggar helping his colleague tie bandages around his head, making sure the color looks like fresh blood, etc.
  • He has observed a 'strategy' that these beggars adopt, specially for foreign nationals. One small kid would target one particular foreigner in a day and then follow him/her/group everywhere they go. Into the park, out of the restaurant, near the parking lot, outside his gym, near her spa; everywhere the person goes they would follow them with a face expression full of hunger, pain and helplessness. This particular strategy actually works wonders for them as this day's investment often results in a couple of hundred (and sometimes more) bucks at the end of the day.

My grandfather used to say, "Never say no to a beggar! But, always give a pinch of flour so that he/she gets to eat half a meal after working hard the whole day!" Forced beggary, forced prostitution are two big evils of Indian society. Often hidden (and ignored), these dark alleys of India need to be exposed to eradicate this evil which associates itself with a number of other crimes in our society!
Say no to beggars! Don't be 'nice' be practical and considerate about our nation and her pride!

Related posts:
  1. The land of the poor.


vishal said...

agree to whatever is said, but not being nice to a kid who comes to you begging may eventually lead to him getting beaten by its parent/master whoever is forcing him to do so. Its not guaranteed that he will get the lesson of not begging if u don't feed him but that's for granted that if he goes with nothing in his pocket back in the evening he will surely taken to task.

Parthiban said...

The recent film in Tamil cinema called "Naan Kadavul" (I am God) explains the forced beggary quite simply. I don't know if I can believe what has shown in that movie since it was totally insane and if that's what the reality is..Oh boy!

This is actually a part of the mainstream of the movie but provokes strong emotional distress. This article sounds very true.

gideon said...

good one PJ...Forget about Foreigners in banglore,, We the north east people also one of the target...I also called almost 85% of auto drivers are also one of the beggers...Taking advantage of out siders..

Anonymous said...

Hmm..Well. You do have cases where old people abandoned are forced to beg. Giving alms is acceptable them.

Prasoon Joshi said...

If you continue to give alms to kids they will continue to have a future just like their parents!

Agreed. More than just alms, they should be given other types of help. There are many organizations working for their welfare, if possible try contacting them if you know for sure that those people are needy.

KT said...

That's a nice post PJ. I agree that giving alms is always better than money to young children. And I don't think people really become sympathetic looking at the fake-blood method, coz its very very artificial and anyone can make it out. In a way I think atleast faking is better, coz there are cases where people have themselves forced to hurt themselves for the sake of money. With such a big population I think most are left without a choice though few are lucky to be taken care by organisations as you pointed out.