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June 23, 2009

Aren’t there moments when you feel very unhappy with things around you and feel helpless?

You know that something is going wrong before you but you can do nothing to change it.

The reason for all my rant is an incident that happened in the last week.

Last Friday, I was done with my work early and left from office. My brother also happened to finish his work early and we decided to go home together. I was waiting at the bus stop for him. As it was a Friday night, the roads were full and people were speeding around. I was looking at one side and suddenly something touched my knees from the other side. I was startled and thinking it to be a dog, shooed ‘it’ away.  Only when I turned did I realize that the ‘thing’ I was thinking to be a dog was a not-even-two-years boy. I wonder if he was old enough to speak. He dint try to touch my knees but he was trying to call me in his way. He was trying to call me and ask me for money. I was shocked to see it. A two year old and begging!!

I was looking at this small kid, who doesn’t even know the value of money begging at a cross roads. I so wanted to give the boy the five rupee coin which was in my hand at that moment. But then, I dint know whether I would be actually encourage the boy to continue begging. I said nothing and stood there like a rock doing nothing but seeing that boy. He stood by me for a while and then moved on. Then he moved a little away from the main road and continued begging people waiting for their busses/cabs/autos. I could do nothing but almost cry looking at the innocent face of the boy and what he is made to do. I am sure if at that moment I had seen the mother/father of the boy, I would have given her/him one tight slap. Meanwhile, my brother came and we got into an auto. All through that day, I could not think of anything else except that little boy.

I have seen little kids begging several times but they were ones who were at least 6/7 years old. Even if they were 1 or 2 year kids, they were in their mother’s arms and the mother would be the one showing the innocent kids face and begging for money. I know that there are a lot of people who force children (mainly orphans) to beg (wasn’t the same shown in Slumdog Millionaire?) But then, be it a parent or any other person, how could anyone send a little kid such as this to beg?

When I was a kid, I used to go about and give money to every single person who asked me for money. As I started growing up, I realized all what is seen is not real and there are a number of people who try to play with emotions of people and are habituated to easy money. With these kinds of people increasing day-by-day, I have stopped giving money to them.  At times I feel that they are genuine beggars but then, I might never know. So I decided that I would never give money to any beggar.

One might be greedy for money, but I fail to understand how people can be so rock-hearted and make little kids such as the one I saw go and beg. I guess man’s greed is growing leaps and bounds and it’s leading to the death of the essential quality in us– Humanity or rather the love towards fellow humans.

18 Comments leave one →
  1. June 25, 2009 12:00 PM

    me first 🙂
    Yes you are 🙂

  2. June 25, 2009 12:09 PM

    Yes mystery it is pathetic to see small kids begging.But u said it rightly by giving money to them we are encouraging them.Usually i give money to old beggers who can’t move and sit at one place.
    Even me Saritha. But then these days, i am not giving to anyone, as it has turned into a business for many.
    Begging is a big business in india,people take the kids from their parents and are made to beg and at the end of the day they take back the money these kids got.
    Sadly, Yes. And parents are ready to allow their children do such things.
    Root cause of begging is our population,which we are not able to control,one sal and too many mouths to feed 😦
    No cure to the population problem:(

  3. June 25, 2009 12:20 PM

    me just a tad late… 😦
    Just a little 🙂

  4. June 25, 2009 12:23 PM

    I always give them… i dont know if its wrong… I dont care… but i do give something or the other… best is to buy them tea or some biscuits if some shop is near… If we are eating at some laari… I get them a plate or something… if nothing is avaialble… change is to be given.. I cant help it…

    I know Dhiren, it feels so bad to not give any money. But, i try hard not to give any money. I may give money and satisfy my guilt, but then as long as we continue giving money, they’ll continue begging and get used to such a life and i don’t want it to happen. Giving food is ok with me. But there are many people who are stationed at busy junctions and near temples, when we are either very busy or have nothing to give except the prasaad. And these days they stare back at us if we give some things like prasaad or give less money. This is the elder one though.not the kids..

  5. June 25, 2009 2:47 PM

    Its depressing, isnt it? Like Dhiren, I get them food from the nearest place. and I try and purchase those ear buds and cloth that they sell in the middle of the road too. I wouldnt use those ear buds, but that would help them and moreover, since it isnt begging, Im not encouraging them, rt?

    Ya its very depressing. Oh yes, even i try to buy something or the other from them. Buy selling such things they are at least trying to earn some money and not depend on others’ sympathy.

  6. June 25, 2009 3:16 PM

    hey nice article..our government is working hard to change the situation but population of India is just too huge..if we want to change the situation we have to control population and corruption..

    Thanks..i feel that the numbers(of population) might increase, but that doesnt necessarily mean decrease of human values and basic thinking

  7. June 25, 2009 4:20 PM

    don’t know what to say Mystery.. life is a complicated maze.. in which people trying to reach the money by anyway…. they are short-sighted to see a young child’s life is getting ruined 😡

    Yes Kanagu. Life is a Maze. but they cant ruin others lives to make their own life comfortable na..

  8. craftyshines permalink
    June 25, 2009 5:12 PM

    u know mystery, when i was in school, i used to see this really old frail man, and used to feel bad and give him a rupee twice or thrice a week…whatever i cud spare…after one or two months, i saw him smoking….

    i felt horiible becoz i was contributing to this addiction of his…i kinda felt cheated too….

    i stopped.

    u r right, we never know hat we are aiding by giving money to beggers, more so when they are as small as the kid u mentioned 😦
    their parents teach them to pester ppl n gain sympathy, its sad and its a full blown trade industry…

    That’s my point Crafty. If the money i give will lead to a good life for him or for his family, i am ready to give more. But the thing is they(the small kids) are being used as a tools to fulfill the needs of adults who are lazy to work on their own..and As u said, the older people, dont just use the money we give them for food, but use it for smoking, drinking and the like. not just the adults, the teenagers who are used to begging get into such habits and spoil their life..

    i think what hitchu does is a good idea, to give some food…

    i am not sure crafty. In most cases, when we try to give them something else other than money they are not ready to take it. Rather they are trained not to take it

  9. June 25, 2009 7:54 PM

    I too ask this question.

    Earlier these people used to move my heart but now am wiser I know most of the time it is a business but yes when I see a blind/ handicapped person I know that they have forcibly been handicapped and that hurts a lot!!!!
    Ya.. it hurts a lot. even though we know that we are doing good to them by not giving them money, it makes us guilty for some reason
    A heartfelt post my dear!!!
    Thanks Smita 🙂

  10. June 26, 2009 1:05 AM

    Mystery, This is something that just breaks my heart! I give them food too – whenever I can. My parents, cook specially for them and take it to a nearby temple where there used to be loads of beggars.. and they used to do it every week and more if there was some special occassion.
    That’s a nice thing that your parents cook specially for them.
    Despite that – it is indeed heart breaking when you are in a position to do nothing. Once, when I returned to India, after daughter was born. We were at the Jamshedpur Railway station, when I saw a little girl, not more than 6 yrs old, holding a baby – not more than 6 months old and begging.. It totally broke my heart.. I could do nothing as we were on different platforms.. All I could think was – what a huge role fate plays.. I had a similar baby in my arms. That baby in her arms was dirty, probably badly treated.. And might grow up in the same way as the older sister…
    Such is fate Smitha! As a kid i always use to think in a similar manner when i saw kids of my age begging while i was leading a happy life.
    I just wish I could do something concrete.. Something that would really make a difference..
    me too 😦 But i dont know what

  11. June 26, 2009 3:47 AM

    Mystery, You are right. Sometimes you feel this helplessness. We can do our bit but it is never enough and that thought hurts me. Sometimes you try to help these kids but the money and things are taken away by their gang leader.
    ya.. i guess they wouldn’t even get a fraction of what we give.
    Every year when I go to India I have one suitcase just for the orphanage kids I support. Suitcase full of Peanut’s and my good items and other useful stuff I purchase for the kids. Their Church is not that rich so they need support from people around. They also support homeless women. There are so many women from all over India. Even when you surprise visit them, you will see the same lovely environment and cleanliness. I go there couple of times to give them stuff, food and sponsor their one day trip to beach and nearby places.

    It still doesn’t feel enough. 😦
    What you are doing is such a sweet thing Solilo..

  12. June 26, 2009 10:07 AM

    hey while i was coming from gulbarga at a stop there was a kid asking for money.. i gave him popcorn he took it and left…
    i give to old people but not kids

    As i told, i stopped giving money to everyone Stari. Sometimes i feel that i am being very mean and indifferent to them, but then i know its the right thing not to encourage them. Giving food. i have never given till now. But yes would definitely try giving from now.

  13. June 27, 2009 3:18 AM

    You cannot stay back n give nothing ! I know .. its hard.. but giving money is not a solution! I prefer giving food whenever possible. I remember once we were in Bandra station and we told the girl that we would give her food but not money… There are many stalls in the station. We asked her what she wants.. She quickly asked for Diary milk.. At first we didnt wanna give.. but then we realized possibly no one else will ever give her that… so we bought her diary milk ( her face was worth seeing! and it broke my heart 😦 really did! Such innocent joy on a world weary face ** sigh**) and then bought her vada pav too. Cozt us less than 20 bucks but brought so many smiles to her as well as us.. We can never forget this girl .. and am sure.. she remembered us for a long long time 🙂

    The joy on their faces is not something we would forget easily.. When i was very young, my mom gave money and told me to get something form the shop. On the way, i saw a handicapped boy and gave him some 5/10 rupees(dont remember exactly how much i gave him). he saw the money and looked back at me in such happiness, i can never forget that look.

  14. June 27, 2009 1:19 PM

    its really difficult not to give money but then sometimes when you see able bodied men and women begging on the streets, you do tend to get angry….so many times i have actuially told them that come with me, i’ll get you work…the minute they hear this word “work”, they run away….no doubt there are some who beg because they dont have a choice but most of them just beg coz they are too lazy to work
    Hi Gunmeen.
    You are right. most of them beg as they are lazy to work and are habituated to easy money through begging. Thats one of the reason i have stopped giving money as i dont want to encourage such practice and also i am not sure as to who are the ‘real’ beggars and who are the lazy ones.

  15. sravanthi permalink
    June 29, 2009 6:55 PM

    Yes rads. What u say is true and I felt the same umpteen times. I had this embarrased moment when I bent down and asked the kid, Why are you doing this..Don’ you want to study? She was some 9 or 10 years(could be 4th standard if she were studying)…She looked at me scornfully, obviously not understanding what I said to the least and started begging me all again….I really really do not understand what can I do for them…and as u do dear..I started giving money only to people who are maimed!!!!! And one more thing..most of the kids are taken away from their parents and are maimed and then are put onto is not mostly the parents who send them.

    Sadly, even i have seen such situations many times. “it is not mostly the parents who send them” i dont agree. i believe that its the parents who send their kids to beg as they think its one easy way to earn money without the kid also working too hard for it..

  16. July 9, 2009 1:38 PM

    still busy ?????
    Yeah..a little.. but catching up with all the posts of fellow bloggers
    god give me some of her work !!!!! i m the only useless guy around or what !!!

    You will have ample work. Just wait for a while and then you will complain you have more work..

  17. July 10, 2009 12:22 AM

    Knock Knock… 🙂

    Thanks for checking Solilo.. Have been busy for a while.. will be back shortly

    • July 11, 2009 6:00 AM

      Take your time, Mystery. Come back soon. 🙂
      I surely will comeback soon 🙂

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