Courtesy: The News Blog, August 15, 2012 & Pakistan State Times, August 16, 2012:
Though, we find beggars around us throughout the year, however, the holy month of Ramadan is the most profitable season for these business people. No one is out of their reach, they are everywhere, at every bus station, traffic signals, main door of restaurants & mosques, outside every college, universities, shopping malls, graveyards and shrines, inside markets, knocking doors of the households, inside parks, every public place even inside public busses. Some of them are permanent members of the society while most of them are new comers from upcountry especially Interior Sindh & Southern Punjab.
We may find a variety among them, young but disabled, old, women, children, teenage, shemales even fully capable adults can be seen begging with a ‘dhol’or ‘belcha’ in their hands, pretending as they couldn’t find work today. They make the whole city crowded & people’s life miserable. At traffic signals we may be surrounded by 5 beggars at a time, one forcefully cleaning wind screen; two others knocking the windows while other two waiting for their turn. If you are with a female, they would not only guess perfectly whom you are with, sister, wife or girl friend but also try to ignite your generosity by making appropriate prays for the couple.
Ladies being the most generous donors & susceptible to emotional black-mailing are their softest target. They know how to make them open their bags; even they can hold one’s arms & dress failing to do so & becomes violent & abusive after you show them strict reaction. If you are sitting in an open air restaurant, enjoying delicious food with family or friends, they can make you irritating & spoil your evening. If they have knocked your door and you are at home, then charity is obligatory on you. They will not leave your door until unless you don’t give them their desired money.
Sometimes, you may find them interesting with their surprising actions, as I had had seen an incident, while having tea in an open air restaurant, I saw a young beggar running as if dogs were chasing him, appeared from one side and disappeared in the market. Then we noticed another beggar running to chase the first one and shouting “catch him, catch him, he has snatched my cell phone”, a beggar with a cell phone sounds interesting, but the most interesting part he was running like athletes holding a “besakhi” in his hands.
In an another incident, while driving from Arts Council to I.I.Chundrigar Road, I saw two beggars at the Shaheen Complex signal talking about the rate of the “rights to beg at this signal”, which was Rs.300,000/- for 3 months. I was surprised, rather socked.
It is also a fact; some high standard international level beggars make their trip to Middle East Arab Countries to cash the season. UAE & Saudi Arabia are their most favorite destinations. During my stay in Sharjah (UAE) I encountered a young man with beard collecting donations in the name of some Mosques & Madarasas. It is strictly prohibited here & you are also earning bad name for all of us Pakistanis, I informed him. Please give me lunch if you don’t want to pay money, he requested. I offered him a lunch in restaurant downstairs & went inside my apartment to take cash. As soon as I came out I saw him running towards stairs. After I came out of the building he had crossed the road. Later I saw him on a web-video, someone have made to expose this cheater professional beggar.
I don’t know what the police & concerned authorities are doing to eradicate this social filth, but people say these beggars are a strong mafia & powerful people are backing them. If we can’t stop this whole business by force, we at least resist it tactically by not donating them at all. I just want to alert people about the consequence that by donating these professional & seasonal beggars we are not only encouraging them but also impeding the rights of the real needy people.
This small act of donating charity to professional beggars out of our ignorance actually harms the overall economic cycle of the society. Isn’t it better we look around for a real needy person who is hesitant to ask us for help in our relatives, neighbors & friends & lend him money as “Qarz-e-Hasana” as it is most liked in Islam?