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The Problem of Beggars in India

The problem of beggars is a social evil and an affront on the national prestige of India.The Indian Government should take immediate steps to eradicate it.

You may even frown at the very idea of thinking about the beggars, because ‘begging’ is considered as demeaning and lowly; generally it is the human tendency to looking up and down at the people who are downtrodden and very poor, besides considering them almost useless and good for nothing fellows.

When we trace the origin and development of human history and civilization with all our sincerity and purpose, it is equally important to trace the origin and development of ‘begging’ as a habit and even as a profession and going a step further to dwell on the world of beggars for sometime. It is even more relevant when we deal with them from an Indian point of view where beggars have been flourishing and living in large numbers.

Literally speaking, to beg means to ask for money or food from others; in other words a beggar is a very poor, penniless person whose survival depends upon others. A person who had become suddenly penniless or bankrupt, jobless and directionless must have naturally turned into a beggar. Similarly, a person who was earning his wages on daily labour who was hardly hit and maimed by a sudden accident and lost his limbs and who had no moral and material support must have turned into a beggar. Illegitimate children who were forsaken by their parents and who remained uncared for must have turned into beggars for their very survival. Similarly, aged parents who were forsaken by their wards must have turned into beggars. Agriculturists or weavers who were hard hit by famine must have migrated from their native and on their failure to find a suitable job for them in a new place must have turned into beggars. Similarly, children who had physical deformities on their birth perhaps who were born dwarfs, with no or twisted limbs or hips who were forsaken by their parents had no other go but turned into beggars. Thus social and economic factors play a vital role in goading people to turn into beggars.

While beggars are considered as social and economic evil of a country like India, so far no concrete step has been taken to mitigate the evil. However, there has been some initiatives from some states like Tamil Nadu as early as in the 1970s.Homes were set up for the rehabilitation of beggars especially those people who are incurably suffering from leprosy. Around the year 2000, a scheme was launched by the Tamil Nadu Government called ‘Thottil Kuzanthai scheme’ according to which the Tamil Nadu Government had adopted the illegitimate children that were forsaken by their parents. But considering the number of people who were abound with and turned into beggars, these schemes simply paled into insignificance and the problem of beggars looms large.

It may even be shocking to note that beggars due to their physical impairments have been even exploited by the antisocial elements for earning more money in an organized way. Rowdy and antisocial elements even recruit and operate a network of beggars and earn a lot of money. They do it in an organized way by training them and directing them where to do and how to do etc so as to earn the sympathy as well as the money from the people in a systematic way.

Beggars in India are mostly concentrated in the outskirts of the Hindu temples and even before the mosques, with their begging bowls. It is the fervent hope of the beggars that people who visit these temples out of piety will always have some sympathy towards these hapless people and will certainly come forward to give away their alms into their begging bowls.

Though we generally abhor beggars, we have some sympathy towards the aged people and always we give them some alms. But we hate and shun away people who turned into beggars who are physically look good and are capable of doing any work.

The problem of beggars being an affront on the national prestige, it is time that the Indian government should take some concrete steps to do away with beggars. There are homes for the aged and the handicapped people run by the private and voluntary organizations but still they are rather inadequate.  

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User Comments
  1. ladybaby

    On May 10, 2009 at 2:06 pm

    Poverty and oppression is the sin of the world. Super rich people live streets away from the starving and don’t even see them. They don’t even care because they lack a conscience. Those beggers who use it to make decent money, are no different than business men who also operate to gain profits, so we should not look down on them for it. If we did to others as we would like to be done to us, then there would not be any poverty, because there is enough wealth in the world to go around. Greed, power and control blinds those who rule, and they only seek wealth for themselves. Jesus says, “If ye did it to the least of them, you did it unto me.” There is no earthly reason or excuse for poverty. Even in America this is going on.

  2. Ramalingam

    On May 10, 2009 at 2:35 pm

    Thank you for your comments.But as a responsible citizen of my country I cannot keep mum but do something to do away with it.That’s what I have done.I believe.

  3. Hari678

    On May 13, 2009 at 10:09 am

    Begging is a sin. Begging is an insult to administration of the country. The government of a country is under obligation to look after to every citizen rather more to the people who have nothing to survive. It is the duty of the administration to make minimum arrangements for beggars if necessary with peoples’ cooperation in an organized way and to stop all sorts of business with beggars. Thank you for sharing and highlighting the beggar’s problem in India.

  4. Ramalingam

    On May 13, 2009 at 11:44 am

    Thank you for your encouraging comments.

  5. CutestPrincess

    On June 3, 2009 at 6:24 am

    beggars is a part of our nation, our country… were not all equal! even here in the Philippines, it’s a bg problem though!

  6. Mohd. Nazrul Islam Barbhuyan

    On August 3, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Strong act as well as action plan should be taken to stop social problem like begging in our country. We can launch rehabilitation project.

  7. ananth3

    On July 15, 2010 at 4:48 am

    begging is done mainly for the sake of hunger and in other way it is done by rowdy people forcing them (as business). these things are happening because our government as not taken any good step to help these poor beggars . the state government like tamil nadu is giving free TV for all ,for spending such a lot of money for this unnecessary TV.they would clear the state from poor beggars ,given home for the home less ,given job for the job less….


    and the government is not going to do any thing unless we indians together raise our voice for them.

  8. Indian

    On November 19, 2010 at 11:15 am

    we are begging from past ..00.. years, now we are begging to beggars to stop beg.

    Real is no one indian have thought about India, all indians have his own language, religion, caste etc etc……
    for that they r dieing…..

    I realized this, when iam crossing half of my life, nothing to change or do anyting….

    Now we should educate our young generations…..

    (Education means not for job)

  9. bhaskar

    On February 2, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    Hey guys
    your concerns are real, but rather than simply showing your pity and talking will-not give us any prominent solutions, being the new generation Y we must search a solution that seems FEASIBLE and ‘profitable’ (then it might become more easy to carry our the solution process ! ).

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