Begging in India

Topics: Poverty, Begging, Mendicant Pages: 2 (811 words) Published: June 22, 2013
Begging in India is a fashion, a compulsion, a profession, a privilege and a recreation. The number of beggars in India is much larger than in other countries. Our heads hang down in shame when we read description of this institution given by foreigners in a hateful manner. To the Westerners, India is a land of the mendicants and snake-charmers. Beggars are found in villages and towns, on roads, crossings and footpaths. But their favorite haunts are bathing Ghats, temples, religious or festival fairs, railway stations, trains and bus-stands. It is a big nuisance to be confronted by street beggars at all odd places. Like the God Almighty they seem to be omnipresent. You are waiting for a bus at the bus-stand or walking down a road with your friend, they appear from nowhere and start an endless volley of entreaties and blessings. They follow you close at your heels and keep pestering you till you give them some coins out of a sense of sheer disgust and helplessness. There are various types of beggars in India. The religious; beggars cluster round pilgrim centres and attract public attention by their wonderful feats. There are crippled and disabled beggars who remain lying on road-sides or at railway or river bridges arousing sympathy of the passers-by, making all kinds of pitiful gesture!; There are beggars who are quite stout and able-bodied. Begging for them is not a necessity but a profession. They are idlers and rascals who are unwilling to earn their bread by hard work. They often operate in gangs and their leaders hold a bank balance that would be credit to an important business magnate. They are disguised as physically disabled or handicapped. They use as tools young women with new born babies or young children. Whenever they find an opportunity, they commit thefts and crimes, including kidnapping of children. At some places we come across modernized beggars dressed in suits. Such beggars lead a luxurious life in places of retirement. There are travelling...
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