“Do din se kuch khaya nahi, kuch de do” (haven’t eaten anything from the past two days, give me some money), “Allah k naam pe kuch de do” (Give me some money in the name of God), these are some of the few commonly heard pleas that people get to hear on the swarming roads of Indian cities.
Indians are very much used to such lines and have over the time developed their immunity to them; it’s the tourists however who fall prey to these creative tactics used by the bundles of roadside beggars who eventually part off with a sumptuous amount of money in their acts of philanthropy!
This post is especially dedicated to the first timers visiting India, to provide them the very basic and essential guidelines to get acknowledged to the Beggar Management before they begin with their venture. Mentioned below are few tips (based on real time experiences) to help all the foreign tourists on the Indian roads!
6. Prevention is Any Day Better than Cure
When travelling in a car, make sure you keep your windows rolled up, especially when your car halts at the traffic lights. Every busy signal on the Indian roads has a set number of beggars appointed to it, who unexpectedly swarm almost every car in order to generate their daily revenue! You are required to simply ignore them and ensure you steer clear of any sort of eye contact, which may otherwise prolong their stay.
Resist giving money, and even if you intend to do so make it as your last option when the lights are about to go green. The moment you give money to one, their whole clan will come running to you within no time to get more money out of you!
5. Remember, Your Valuables Are Much More Valuable To Others
You might feel pity at the miserable plight of the beggars and chances are your generous side takes a stronger hold on you. But make sure your generosity doesn’t get you fooled! Hundreds of cases have been reported in the country, where people have been fooled of their expensive mobile phones, jewels and even cash stolen while helping out the beggars. Therefore be extremely alert while traveling as the beggars mainly look out for potentially vulnerable and innocent targets.
4. Follow the Widely Accepted Mantra of Avoiding Beggars
The population of beggars is typically more prevalent in the populated areas such as temples, shopping complexes, monuments, railway stations, eating joints, malls, etc. Never offer anything to any of the beggars, else be prepared to face an embarrassing situation, where a whole mob of beggars will swarm around you or hand into your arms & feet, begging you for more. Be very stern and look out for your handbags, purse and wallets.
3. Destitution Is Certainly Not Destiny In India, It’s A Fully Fledged Business
Your heart would certainly pound, skip a beat and you might even feel overwhelmed with the feeling of compassion looking at the miserable plight of the beggars in India. You are definitely going to encounter one or two lepers, fretful mother carrying her naked child, and pregnant women but in reality, they are all fake! Such dramatizations actually help them to get a hold of your attention, whereby you are so filled with sympathy that you do not even think twice before handing out money to them. However, it is important for you to note that the money you give them is ultimately used for funding illegal acts or for indulging into drugs.
2. It’s Just Not Legal
According to the guidelines laid down by the Indian law, begging is illegal and is therefore prohibited. But unfortunately this law is hardly if ever practiced! There are many researchers who have found that the beggars earn about Rs 500- 600 every single day. This accounts to be much more than any hardworking laborer’s pay. Hence it has become a profession of the lazier lot who adopt it happily!
1. Believe in Your Gut
If you seriously wish to help these beggars, look out for a good NGO or a charitable trust that specifically works for the upliftment of such beggars and is dedicated to eradicate beggary from the country. Make your contributions to them rather than donating your money in the wrong hands.