Stop. Look. Get emotionally robbed. Go.
If you have ever stopped at a traffic signal (anywhere in India), you have witnessed an industry that has grown by leaps and bounds. Begging at traffic signals is increasing every day. Here are the facts:
- They play with your emotions and earn money. Don’t be fooled by the old age or the new born babies. It’s all set up and none of it is ever genuine. An excellent movie on this was made in 2007.
- You earn hard money – and you convert it into black money by giving out 5 Rupees a day.
- You are not helping – but encouraging mafia to “cut more hands / chop off more legs” of kidnapped children and helpless men/women.
- This is not personal – it’s a national shame that people beg on the streets.
- A show on BBC (on everyday lives of Mumbai’s eunuchs) interviewed a eunuch begging on a traffic signal. When a man in a car offered work to the eunuch (that was on camera), the eunuch hurled some abuses (live on camera).
- Most of the beggars out there are making money anywhere between Rs. 50 to Rs. 1000 a day.
- India Today covered a story in the last week of January 2008 on begging. The numbers and facts there are not in the least shocking.
- Update – Begging is an industry which has an annual turnover close to Rs. 180 crore in Mumbai alone. The article from India today has the data. Who’s the beggar?
You can help by discouraging people when they give out money to beggars. Even a single coin lost to them will promote begging. Begging is a combination of multiple evils – inflicted injuries, black and easy money, kidnappings, child stealing and child labour.