By Iram Saba
ISLAMABAD, Nov 5 (APP): Once the begging was just confined to poor segments of society. Now, an easy way of living, just begging and doing nothing.
The tech age has ornamented it with devices to begin digital way of panhandling with innovative ideas of mendicancy.
According to numbers there are more than 25 million beggars in Pakistan and the twin cities were no exception.
A reasonable amount of beggars prefer begging in the federal capital.
It is observed that professional beggary is a curse rather than compulsion due to basic necessities of life.
Moreover, it is not easy to escape these beggars without fulfilling their demand. They know many tricks to melt a tougher heart as well as a woman.
A woman, Javeria Manzoor who came for shopping at one of the busiest markets of Islamabad while talking to APP said that the swarms of beggars were a nuisance for the people as they would not let any body go without attending them.
Besides, internet or digital begging is the modern practice of asking people to donate money to others via internet rather than in person.
It is usually targeted at people who are familiar with the beggar but it may be advertised to strangers also. It encompasses requests for help to meet the basic needs of life, shelter and medical care.
A woman Yasmin Khan in this regard said, “Of and on I receive the messages with the request, please send me the balance of Rs 50 or 100 I will pray for you.” “such requests are heart melting you know,” she added.
In the past, the profession of begging whether manual or digital was adopted by homeless and helpless segments of the society who were unable to earn their livelihood. But now this is being done in a more organised way.
Imploring others for any grant of favor in the form of money or gift stands an old profession in the human history as equality among humans, yet a dream of the world. Pakistan being developing country is facing street begging at an alarming level.
The country is suffering from poverty which has forced many youngsters to leave their homes and start begging in the streets. It is strange that a street beggar is earning handsomely than a normal person who works for eight hours.
Being easy source of income most of the physically fit young persons are seen panhandling in the streets. Initially this segment only asked for livelihood and basic needs but now they have set different goals to achieve through taking alms so the proverb “beggars are never choosers” could be simply ignored as now the beggars choose, how , where and what to beg.
The beggars squads are easily categorized into different sections like some are found at one place for years and some keep changing, then some would be found at the bus or local van stops, markets or on roads, wearing nice trendy clothes asking for a few bucks to get fuel for their vehicle and pretend to get looted by pick pockets.
Mostly, children belong to backward areas of the country, they earn 300-400 rupees per day and a big chunk of the earning goes into the contractor’s pocket and a minimum is given to the children to take home.
More often social activists raise their voice against this phenomenon of begging and state takes actions to eliminate this nuisance from the country but it has deep and strong roots in our society. The government and private sector should come forward to introduce some schemes and trainings through which this segment of society should have the opportunity to earn their future living. Job opportunities should be provided to the deserving people to get rid of this social evil of egging. Similarly, zakat funds should be utilized on such communities to uplift their life standard. It is better to establish organizations focused on the begging than giving charity to the professional beggars.