Child Beggars: The Children Of A Lesser God !!

Nowhere To Go !

Nowhere To Go !

(A report about beggars including child beggars that I got published in Hindustan Times on Nov.16, 2000. In these past ten years since the publication of this report nothing much has changed. The Child beggars are still present in almost whole Allahabad.)   

The beggars are a common sight on the roads of Allahabad. You can locate them almost in any part of the city.  Be it railway station,theater halls,hospital, posh residential colonies or busy market you can always find one. As you alight from the train at Allahabad station,  the beggars start pestering you. And you are left with no other option but to put a penny on their hand. These beggars cannot be fixed into one fix age group but generally they are between 5 to 45 years.  On Tuesdays and Saturdays, when devotees throng in huge number at the Hanuman Temple in Civil Lines,beggars also gather there. It creates a lot of embarrassment for the devotees as the beggars block their way when they want to avoid them.

India is progressing !

India is progressing !

Here at this temple small children ,who are bare-bodied, get the job done for their families as it is for them to generate sympathy.Their innocent faces melt even the most stony hearts.The child beggars, while facing the odds of the weather, undergo every kind of exploitation. They are often harassed by the police on suspect of being involved in drug pedaling whereas girls are often sexually exploited.

During Kumbh Mela, if one happens to visit Sangam, one notices sea of beggars !! They come here with full preparations since they know that Mela (fair) stretches for more than a month. They stay here for months and slowly leave as the Mela (fair) ends.  Sources say that these beggars, who at first sight appear to be victim of vicissitudes of life,in fact, have their own bank accounts. Yet, there are many among them who really need attention and care. Many are handicapped while a few suffer from some incurable diseases which cripple their body movement.

Are you  going to ignore her at a corner ?

Are you going to ignore her at a corner ?

Thus, it becomes a hard task for them to manage two square meals. To meet unnatural death is their fate. Apart from these type of beggars,  who somehow manage to survive, there is another class of mentally deranged beggars. In Allahabad you can find them sitting at roadside.

Till now, no social organisation of the city has shown interest in their cause. At the same time, there exists no specific guidelines for rehabilitation of beggars. Unlike in other countries, where begging is an offence and governments pay monthly allowances to put them off the road, in India, it’s still a distant dream.

Thinking About Arranging The Meals !

Thinking About Arranging The Meals !

To prevent these children of lesser gods from begging, the authorities should come up with concrete plans for betterment. In Allahabad, like other cities, child beggars get trapped in flesh racket.Others seem to have devised innovative means to catch the attention of passers-by. A beggar, who sits near railway over-bridge at the Allahabad   Junction, melodiously croons latest songs. Another one,who sits at the same place, pretends to be in great pain but as the person is out of sight, he becomes normal. Later, when nobody is around,he could be seen smoking at leisure. However, the authorities need to take immediate steps to curb the ever -increasing number of beggars.
Who will ensure him  a better future ?

Who will ensure him a better future ?

5 responses

  1. Exchange Of Views On Facebook :

    Arvind Mishra:

    They are omnipresent in India ,may it be Allahabad or Varanasi or any other part of our beloved country.With a wide gap in between poor and rich,poverty and affluence which is sadly still growing in exponential proportions we are going to… face this problem even in more ugly forms.
    Could our welfare state contain this ever growing menace like the mythical mouth of Sursa, the demon witch.

    Your writings are always very original and I instantly like them . .

    ****************************

    Author’s Response:

    @Mishraji

    A comment that exposes the ugly truth.It’s really unfortunate that a blatant refusal to ignore the imminnet truth is considered as a policy by the policymakers in the corridors of power!!

    I mean look at our attitude.What a soluti…on have we carved to end this problem ? We keep them away from the eyes of high profile foreign vistors so that they do not come face to face with harsh realties of this land. Is that’s a way to end this evergrowing problem?

    While going through some of the articles related with Kashi ,I came to read a paragraph in one the articles.I felt very angry over the writer as I felt that’s not a way to desribe Kashi.It’s has become customary for them to paint India in wrong colours by exaggerating the wrongs.

    However, another dose of introspection , made me realize that whatever be the intention of that writer I just cannot refuse to ignore the fact that child beggars or the beggars are a sad reality.Let’s accept that our tales of success story is a big attempt to fool the citizens.

    Here is the excerpts of that article :

    “We came to the end of our rickshaw ride near the center of the town and we gathered together in a circle around our luggage waiting for everyone to arrive. Beggars of all sorts descended on us like vultures on fresh roadkill. In a matter of moments we were surrounded by pregnant women with drugged out infants begging for milk money, men with missing body parts and sickly dogs, while motorcycles honked and fully laden carts pulled by oxen squeezed by too. It was a sensory overload of the biggest kind. Filthy air, noisy honking and us surrounding our luggage like the covered wagons making a circle around the women and children were a curious sight in itself. Finally we were all assembled and began the climb through the narrow alleys lugging our baggage and trying hard to avoid dragging it through the cow dung.”

    Thanks Mishraji that you have time to read amidst busy schedules.It’s indeed laudable !!!!

    *********************

    From Praveen Trivedi’s Buzz Page:

    किसी गुत्थी को सुलझाने की खुशी उलझी हुई लट को सुलझाने से कहीं ज्यादा होती है। लेकिन हम तो गुत्थियों को गांठ बनाकर जीते हैं और समस्याओं को दरी या कालीन के नीचे ढांक-तोप देने के आदी हो गए हैं।

  2. Nice article- It’s comforting to know that other people are trying to raise awareness about these kids.

    Keep up the great work.

    1. Thanks Brownie. Hats off to you as well for being highly conscious in this regard !!

  3. Every human that plays sports,has pets,puts on makeup,has more food then needed, has houses too big for one’s needs, has recreational pleasures,allows them-self’s to be mind formed by borders and flags,to spend money looking in spaces rather then for the poor of earth,spending billions on man gods and man gods buildings and false ideals and the list of logic goes on and that explains why all humans on earth should be ashamed of themselves and any human that lives by any or all, which is most humans, looking at what was listed above are to blame and only points out humans care for their own genes first and humans make millions of emotional reasons why it is not their fault–all guilty as charged but no punishment because nature has humans action only as humans can chemically act

    1. Very well said..I just saw an advt. which says greed is good. That’s says all about our times..

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