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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sad, but true!

It used to be just a line of them outside temples. Now, they are more spread out. They exist in trains, buses, markets, roads….everywhere!! They are ubiquitous. They’ve increased in number at such an enormous rate that, they’ve become a part of Indian roads. Harsh it may sound, but its true, and there is no denying to it. Surely, you know who I’m talking about. It’s palpable. Beggars!!
You’re running late. You’re on your bike, speeding, hurrying to class/work. And unfortunately for you, the signal glows red. You stop, cursing your rotten luck. And when you’re muttering things (swearing :P) under your breath, you see this woman with a baby, pleading for help. Surely your in no mood to even smile. But a look at that hungry baby, you pity it. You give the lady the first coin your fingers find in your pocket. And you forget it at that instant. (Even a thought about it later, it is more of a feel-good thought, as you tell yourself, the woman needs the coin more than you do) This is a common scenario. If not the same, something similar. The point I’m trying to make here is, in most situations, the woman(in this case) in the end gets what she wants.
It’s true that beggar is poorer and he/she has needs more than we do. But are we encouraging beggary by this little act? Shouldn’t the beggar (unless he/she is disabled or too old to function) earn by other decent, respectable means? Why encourage an able guy this way? Can laziness be a disability?Are we doing harm, in the name of generosity?
That too, after stories about well-off people, who choose to beg (as it’s supposedly a profession with decently high income), you’ll never know,the guy who walks around in rags, might be as rich as you. And worse, after slumdog millionaire, you can’t even be sure if the coin you gave satisfies the hunger of the kid you pitied. It might end up adding to the wealth of some rogue, who heartlessly beats up kids (sometimes ruthlessly blinds kids).
I’ve never been able to take a stand on this. I’m always caught in between rational deliberation and sympathy. But I believe there has to be an end to beggary.
P.S.: If you live/stay in Coimbatore, tell me your opinions. Every time I walk into RSPuram, I see so many li’l kids begging. I always think of the movie,Slumdog. You think it’s possible that there’s something more to it than what is evident?


  1. a) You're getting better with every blog you write! :)

    b) Those stories are true. You being a girl, i suppose you havent been to sabarimala, which is infested with men, women and kids who are deliberately handicapped/maimed, mostly by money lenders who the beggars have borrowed from and failed to return the money!

  2. Thanks ani! and about Sabarimala, I didn know. And I still dont understand how anyone with a heart can do something this cruel.

  3. Well yeah it's true sabarimala is like that. It's a holy place in Kerala. I've never been there and so don't know much about it. But, since crowds throng the place, it's highly likely to happen.

    Coimbatore is a strange place. While it can make you feel at home, it's not exactly safe at all. The begging is a menace yeah(I don't remember much: it's been 8 years since I've been there). I've had many harrowing experiences that make me shudder such as the Coimbatore blasts of '98 during which I was in school and just next to it, a bomb exploded(I studied in Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan; which is on D.B. Road. Also, I stil remember that killing of a banker/jeweller by those "Gounders". Just shocking. Then again, I don't know much about how it is now since it's been 8 years since I've been there.

  4. i know xactly wat ur tokin abtt...i still remember de kid tryin to get hold of my leg so we wud give her sum money....its sad...nd we aren't supposed to b encouragin it eithr..but at times lookin at de ladies wid small kids,you jus dont feel like ignorin dem...we waste so much of money buying junk for i guess sparing 2 rupees for dem wnt do so much f harm...

  5. hey, great stuff :)
    id say if ure really felin sympathetic spare sum of your time, go buy some food and give it to the poor chap.
    that way you know for sure that the aid you provided with a such good intention, hasn't gone to promote the cause you condone so rightly.


I'd love to know what you think! :)