Sunday, September 4, 2011

Beggars are never Bankrupt


Beggars are never bankrupt, you agree with me?
Begging profession is one of the oldest professions like prostitution. There is no doubt over that. There was a time when begging was considered as sacred as any religious practice. The monks, in fact by definition are said to be a beggar that they survive by begging and of course by not committing to any sinful deeds. The tradition though continues even to this day except that some people found it so easy to earn living by befooling people, thus by making the world’s perception so small and selfish. I personally won’t be able to spare a ngultrum or two to someone who is healthy enough to work and toil to earn some bucks to earn his meals. Thankfully, in Bhutan we don’t have much of such problems. Of course, we are these days able to see some lethargic and selfish fellows malingering the sickness or some reasons to sit in a hot sunny day on a dirty platform and performing the saddest thing so that we could share his pseudo-grievances with some money in the container or paper he has laid down beside him. We are no more timid and reserved society.
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Back to India, if anyone who has ever driven around the Indian cities, you won’t be alien to the practices of begging in India. Every time you pass traffic red lights, or you visit any community centre, or even when you travel in a train, you are bound to be confronted with situations where someone crippled will fall in front of you wearing that pathetic expression and sometimes you will be even more surprised to see weird looking men attired in woman’s dress and pulling your shirts to ask money. And the funny part with these hermaphrodites is that they won’t let you go away with petty coins; it’s about notes not less than 10. Now, whether you want to feel sympathetic or just ignore, it kind of comes so clean.
Of course, not every beggar can be ignored or avoided. However, with scams going right to claim that begging is a gang coordinated practice, that the money is collected together and distributed by the commune leader, it kind of makes credentials of such practices go down the deep drain. Now, when such coordination is there, how can people in business go poor? There are also allegations that beggars would rent their babies also sometimes to other beggars. Whether these things are authentic, but it leaves no authentic confirmation that these things are not possible. In a place where beggars are everywhere, in some ways, it can be proved a possible practice.
And if some of you are wondering, sparing few coins on a beggar to two won’t drag me all the way to become poor; you may have to consider this one. Giving to one beggar eventually attracts so many others. And at single point only, you can imagine quite a number of them.
When Boyle made the golden globe winning movie, Slumdog Millionaire, it wasn’t just a whole fiction. It was a reality and has now become a trend to get an easy earning.
Basically we are left with no option to deal with beggars than to either ignore to spare few with money or food. However, as for Bhutanese, it is not so late to stop such practices. Let’s keep the pride held high or lets device certain things in the society which won’t force people to droop before poverty and go on practicing stooping things.  
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