Begging VS Self Respect

begging and self respect - incredible opinions

One of my friends shared the picture on the left on facebook last night and it appeared on my timeline. I couldn't resist thinking about it since then.

What is it about this picture which touched me the most? Is it bothersome to see a child selling fruits at the street corner or the relief in knowing that he is not begging to survive and out of self-respect, he rather preferred to work and earn.

One of my Caucasian friend who likes to travel to different countries once shared her experience of travelling to India with me. To my embarrassment, she told me how she was welcomed by so many beggars in the capital city on coming out of the airport. She was surprised and shocked as well that most of those beggars were children between the ages of 5-10. She shared her brutal experience of being followed and almost groped by them but I already knew that this is one of the major social issues in India and foreigners are likely to be scared by them.

India, being emerged as a developing nation on the world map, is still engulfed by so many social conflicts due to larger disparity between the rich and the poor. Begging is one of those major social issues when 21.9% of the total population is below the poverty line and are surviving on as less as $1.90 per day per head in the family to make both ends meet.  This amount is just for the basic food necessities and does not include basic health care and education. This is the root cause of them to turn to begging to survive. The whole family is generally involved into begging. Since the majority of them are deprived of education as well, they tend to think that more members of the family can bring more money by begging. They have considerably large families and all of them are involved in begging to survive.

Most often we come across them near traffic signals, theatres, bus-stops, public places or may be outside our homes. We, Indians, being superstitious and sentimental would give them alms and feel good.This is not justified in most of the cases. We may be thinking that we made their day today but the reality can be different. The beggars could have used that money to suffice their drug addiction or they are simply too lazy to work. We are just helping them to suffer in the environment they are born with. We, infact, lost an opportunity to let them earn their self-respect and confidence. We might feel bad today but their awakened self-respect and self-conscience are more important.

Most of the beggars are con these days. They are drug addicts and some of them are involved in big rackets or scams. They have large gangs operating in different parts of the cities and somehow making more money everyday by begging than an average hard working middle class worker. Some of the beggars even making fortunes. Here is the link to the article in where they mentioned 6 Professional Beggars in India who are probably richer than You & I.

Begging is not the only option, it is an "easy" option to survive. Our country's 21.9% population cannot thrive and depend on other 78.1%, most of whom are also middle-class people who work hard everyday for their livelihood. Self-reliance and self-dependence is the biggest virtue of those who feel that they are less fortunate.

There are many self-respected below the poverty line people in our country as well who would rather do any kind of work than to beg. Varun Paruthi, an actor and  a philanthropist, has videos on his social experiments where he meets so many self-respecting people who would work hard and earn rather than just losing hope and beg. They believe in hard work and try everything to come out of the miserable situation of their lives they are born with. If a beggar can count the money given to him and walk up to us to beg, he can surely do the work that needs intelligence and physical movement. All he needs is work for his survival.

Government of India, so far, has so many schemes and welfare plans to eradicate poverty and to give employment opportunities to the destitute. Let the government do its duty but as citizens of this diversified country, we also have a responsibility towards the fellow citizens to not let them live a miserable life and believe in what our Prime Minister said once "Self respect of this country depends on self-respect of each of the 125 crore people of India." Please stop supporting begging and help those who would work till their last breath than to beg!