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Over the past few years, India has been progressing at a commendable speed. Very recently it surpassed the UK to become the 5th largest economy of the world. India is growing steadily and will soon be counted as a developed nation. However, there is one thing that is quite disturbing in spite of all the developments and advancements that India has achieved. That thing is the fact that India has a huge population of beggars.
Beggars in India:
You will be surprised to know that India is home to half a million beggars. And in spite of all the advancement or growth, we are still dealing with a huge population that is suffering from poverty or is forced to beg.
It is a very common site to spot some beggars at the traffic signals or in front of religious places. And the problem is not restricted to small towns or suburban areas. One can easily find people begging in Metropolitan cities like Delhi and Mumbai.
Can we classify beggars?
Broadly the beggars can be classified into two categories– the ones who have no option but to beg and others for whom begging is a profession. Generally begging is quite often carried out in well-organized gangs. To look and sound genuinely needy, these people are constantly innovating new methods to gain sympathy and arms from the people.
Sometimes the ringleaders deliberately disfigure the children to get a higher amount of money. This money is generally snatched away from them. Since begging has become a profession for many it has resulted in human trafficking as well. According to the data of the National Human Rights Commission of India around 40000 children are abducted every year and of these around 30,000 children are beaten up disfigured or are forced to beg on the streets.
Here is one story that will change the way you think about beggars: Stupefied Reality
Recently we came across a video where a little boy was sitting on a wheelchair and an elder boy was carrying him around saying that he is a cancer patient and will die if people do not help. However, when interrogated strictly the boy accepted that the little one was fine and they were faking illness to get money from the passersby’s. he also mentioned that out of all the money collected they get 250 rupees only while Salma who was probably their ringleader takes all the money left with them.
Here is the Video:
Where you can easily encounter begging in India?
You can spot the maximum number of beggars at places which are more likely to have tourists period this includes important monuments airports shopping attractions next paragraph in big cities like Delhi Mumbai they are much likely to be found at the traffic intersections where they can approach huge crowds while the traffic is not moving.
There is also a pattern of beggars that can be easily noticed. Most number of child beggars can be spotted in areas like Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan while beggars with disabilities are more likely to be found in western India. According to the results of the 2011 census, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh have the highest number of beggars. The number is also alarming in Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Assam, and Orissa. However, it is quite a daunting task to determine the identities of these beggars due to the inaccuracy of the data available
To give or not to give?
Beggars in India are found in all varieties ranging from infants to lepers, to elderly people and helpless women. These beggars are experts in their field and have many a trick to fool you into believing them and giving them some money. Tourists are relatively easier to obtain a higher sum of money without working too hard.
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What we as citizens or tourists do not realize is the fact that by giving alms to the beggars who are coming our way, we are promoting the profession of begging. When someone gets easy money without working hard, they will not even try to work and will instead keep growing in numbers.
Also, the growing network of beggars is adding to the crime of human trafficking and child abduction these children when grow up become criminals or some form of anti-social elements because they have no skill other than begging or deceiving.
Must never forget the fact that India has the largest number of child beggars in the world this is a matter of great shame for the nation where a huge population is a youth and where youth is the center of focus for most strategies.
As per SocialPost, Democratic Republic of Congo is the poorest country in the world. The population of Congo is roughly 80 million out of which the majority of then live below 1.25$ per day.
Government doing enough?
The government and NGOs have been trying their level best to overcome this menace of begging, but the results are not too encouraging. Because it is very difficult to identify who is an actual beggar and who is a part of the racket of beggars also the rehabilitation process is quite TDS to change their frame of mind is a humongous task that requires a lot of courage patience and compassion. also please still do not have adequate infrastructure to support.
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child beggars in India statistics:
According to data, Uttar Pradesh has one of the highest populations of child beggars. While there is no exact count of child beggars in the city, their number is so high that there isn’t enough space to provide shelter to them. There are various schemes for these children launched by the government.
There is a scheme which provides education to these children, but all the concerned officials have turned a blind eye to it. Integrated Child Protection Scheme and many more schemes are being operated under the Department of Women and Child Development.
These schemes are for those children who are surviving in unfavorable conditions and are the victims of child labor, but on the ground, those schemes haven’t been implemented accordingly. There is a lack of coordination between the special police units too.
While it will be very rude to say that we should not give a single penny to any beggar, a more appropriate way would be to check if the person is needy. there are many old people beggars who actually need help. We can help them by giving money for medicines or eatables to them. Avoid giving money to women with babies because most of the time the babies are not theirs.