Stop Giving Alms! BWC organizes ‘Anti Child Beggary Jatha’

Stop Giving Alms! Humanities Association and NSS of Besant Women’s College organizes Anti Child Beggary Jatha

Mangaluru: This seems like a “We Don’t Practice What We Preach” kind of story. “We need to make Mangaluru a Beggar-Free City”-had said the then DC AB Ibrahim talking to media persons during a press meet on Sept 25, 2014 , whose aim was to bring control over the increasing number of beggars in the district. Months and years have passed since DC had promised to eradicate beggary, but it looks like beggars are increasing day by day in Mangaluru, and many are getting into fights/alcoholism etc. and creating a havoc and inconveniences to the public. Not just adults, children are forced to beg on behalf of their parents.

Can any one of you say boldly that there are no beggars in Mangaluru? It is our hoary tradition that every holy place (of all religions in India) is full of beggars. People give alms and feel relieved that they have done some punya. Nobody needs to be hungry. Hundreds of poor in the local areas can live on it for days together. But most other places, it is different. Let us also look at the root causes of begging.

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Apart from a tradition that does not look at it as demeaning, there is a large number of poor Indians. Also, serious health problems to an earning member of the poor family can knock them out of even subsistence levels. Of course, there are some who have made begging a profession. One crucial governance issue before the nation is to create opportunities for productive employment and income generation for the millions of poor and also preparing them in advance with necessary skills. This has to be a continual process. Are we ready? Especially the now powerful and vocal middle class? Or should we be inventing or discovering a Satan every week for national flogging through media?

Beggary has become a regular feature in Mangaluru. We see beggars at bus stands, railway platforms, hospitals, markets and traffic lights. They can be seen at other places also. Even healthy people are seen begging. Small children are also pushed into beggary. Beggary has become a profession and even able-bodied persons do not want to earn their bread by doing manual work. Many beggars are professional pick-pockets and thieves. Many incidents of chain-snatching and purse-lifting are reported at traffic lights. The authorities should seriously consider this menace and steps should be taken to put a complete ban on beggary in Mangaluru. My earnest request to DC. Mayor and other concerned authorities to look into this beggar menace in the City very seriously, and come up with a plan to make “Mangaluru a Beggar-Free City”. as assured by the DC six months ago?

Twelve groups of 30 students from Besant Women’s College with their placards on anti-child beggary messages did Jatha in 12 different spots of Mangaluru today. They were the students of NSS and Humanities Departments of the College participating in the extension outreach programme on “Child Beggary Eradication Awareness Campaign in association with PADI, Child Help Line.

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The Jatha was inaugurated at 10.00 a.m. in front of Mangalore City Corporation office. Harinath M., Mayor, Mangaluru City Corporation inaugurated the programme by unfurling the programme banner. In his inaugural speech mayor expressed his views about the child beggary issue. He said, child beggars grow up into citizens with a lack of self-respect and confidence and thus become a burden to the country. Hence child beggary is a pitching issue that needs drastic awareness measures to eradicate. He appreciated the initiative taken by Besant Women’s College. Ivan D’Souza, MLC, present on the occasion said, the students of today must develop social vibrancy and service attitude by conducting such socially relevant programmes. He congratulated the students for planning such a unique programme.

Dr. SanjivaPatil, Deputy Commissioner of Police, who spoke on the occasion extended his wishes for the success of the jatha .Assistant Commissioner of Police D.K. Valentine D’Souza appreciated the initiative taken by the college, he assured support in organizing similar programmes even in future. Mrs.Sharada, Supervisor of Rehabilitation Centre of Beggars narrated the issues of beggars and measures to be taken to rehabilitate beggars. Usman, Child Protection Officer opined that issue of child beggary more attention from the public because there is a big mafia behind beggary. He said, there is a grave need for sensitizing the public to eradicate child beggary. He insisted on the responsibility of civil society and the youth in rehabilitating the child beggars.

K. Devananda Pai, Correspondent of the college expressed his satisfaction in organizing such a unique programme and thanked PADI and other organizations for joining hands with Besant Women’s College in organizing this outreach programme. Principal Dr Sathish Kumar Shetty P., welcomed the gathering. Prof. Shirly Rani H.o.D Dept. of Sociology and coordinator of Outreach programme. Staff members of Humanity Departments participated along with the students.

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In conclusion, Do you know that “Giving money alms to child beggar” a punishable crime. What a paradox! On one side the government imposes a ban on child labor and on the other hand govt. is completely irresponsible towards child begging? You possibly felt really “good” while giving away some money to an innocent poor child likely under age 18 asking for alms. Did not you? But you have absolutely NO idea of how much damage you just caused, to your country’s future by this small simple act that was probably hardly noticed by anyone around!?

Realize the fact that, any child obviously and ultimately is the future of your country. Right! Now ask yourself: Do you want “the Future of your country” to be a beggar? Questions may arise in a deluded mind; “If I don’t help this poor child in need, what good am I doing then? Who will help?” So be mindful that it is their parent’s / guardians’ responsibility to feed them. Children are supposed to either play or study & not beg for alms on roadsides. And money in their little hands will only misguide them. Be a responsible citizen. Be hard on yourself and get into a self-disciplinary mode by deciding not to give money alms to child beggars. An act of NOT GIVING MONEY ALMS to that child is going to really help him / her, your country’s future and the humanity in many indirect ways.

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Help stop organized crime level businesses set up that kidnap and employ children into begging on roadsides. Discourage irresponsible / helpless roadside parents or guardians from converting their children into a “Begging Machine” and make them realize their duty to take responsibility for their own children. Friends! Next time when you travel in Buses, on Trains, stop by at signal while driving a car or in a taxi and see a child begging, declare publicly: “You do not want the future of your country to be a beggar”. Stop others too. Spread the word. Let’s stop giving money alms to child beggars. This will lead to those evil employers compelled to think for alternate to children and children (in other words future of your country) will be spared. If every one of us and more around brings this into practice, I am sure our country’s, and for that matter, Mangaluru’s future is bright and results will prove positive in time.

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1 Comment

  1. There is a beggers colony at Pachanady. Govt. should entrust a authority to rehabilitate the beggers in this centre. Especially children should be placed in rehabilitation centres with strict supervision. Many NGOs like Vishwasada Mane of Shankerpura, White Doves of Mangalore are working in this direction. Awareness be created amongsts the public so that we can root out this menace.

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