Introduction: One who begs or lives by begging is a beggar. He or she has taken up begging when he/she reaches an extreme point of poverty. The beggar is the man who has acknowledged a defeat at the hand of destiny in the struggle for existence. He/she deserves no pity but contempt. Beggars may be found in public places such as transport routes, urban parks, and markets. Besides money, they may also ask for food, drink, cigarettes or other small items.
Begging (also panhandling or mendicancy) is the practice of imploring others to grant a favor, often a gift of money, with little or no expectation of reciprocation. A person doing such is called a beggar, panhandler, or mendicant.
Classifications of Beggar: Begging is always a crime whether it is begging for freedom, begging for jobs or begging for money. The blind, the deaf and dumb, the Disabled are the beggars of our country. There are three kinds of beggars; the first type constitutes the traditional beggars, who crowd the major shrines of the city and consider it their right to be given alms, owing to their proclaimed lineage to the saint buried there. These include the “rat-children”, who are made to wear steel helmets immediately after birth to produce an artificial deformation in the shape of their heads. This serves to elicit sympathy from the passers-by and thus better earnings. The second class is the professional mendicants who roam the urban locality. The third type is the people who are genuinely in dire financial straits “but have dignity, and normally are unable to beg,”
Beggars have existed in human society since before the dawn of recorded history. Street begging has happened in most societies around the world, though its prevalence and exact form vary. Different we can find another class of beggar standing on pavements or footings. They are the disabled, the deformed and the diseased. Being by birth or accidentally handicapped, they beg for the living; but in many cases, they are forced to beg on behalf of the cruelest and heartless band of employers who make capital out of their misfortune.
A Disgraceful Earning of Beggary: Begging is not a profession. It does no good for society but creates a burden for society and obstructs social and national development. Truly speaking, begging is disreputable. There are also some able-bodied people who in the name of God beg alms.
No man has the right to beg who has the ability to earn his livelihood by the sweat of his brow or who is able to work hard. Many beggars, in course of time, may become moneyed men. But they need not be changed. They always adhere so to their previous begging. They are the burden of society.
In larger cities, it is common to see beggars asking others for money, food, or other items. They may also offer services, such as washing car windows. They may attempt to sell items to others to make money. One outgrowth of begging, particularly among young women, is to turn to prostitution. One method of begging that is particularly dangerous is for beggars to station themselves either in or near vehicle traffic in order to peddle goods or solicit donations, for example walking between lanes at a red light. In these cases, beggars run the risk of being struck by passing vehicles.
Restrictions of Begging: Begging has been restricted or prohibited at various times and for various reasons, typically revolving around a desire to preserve public order or to induce people to work rather than to beg. Various European poor laws prohibited or regulated begging from the Renaissance to modern times, with varying levels of effectiveness and enforcement. Similar laws were adopted by many developing countries.
“Aggressive panhandling” has been specifically prohibited by law in various jurisdictions in the United States and Canada, typically defined as persistent or intimidating begging.
Effects of Beggary: Beggary affects every individual in the society; beggars are everywhere, in any place. They are an inconvenience to the smooth flow of traffic. You pull up your car at a traffic signal and they are bound to appear. They march in restaurants, parks, cinema houses, bus stops, railway stations, local transports, mosques, hospitals, shops, and markets, in the universities and institutions and on the roadways. Some of them have a loud, high-pitched voice that can be heard across the road. If you try to get rid of one by giving him some money, you end up attracting a dozen beggars irrespective of age or gender. Roll up the car window and they pester you by a constant knock. Shabby women carrying underfed children, old, sick, forsaken men and children (mostly under the age of 10) are commonly seen begging. They bother you even when you are within the premises of your house. There is the doorbell ringing. You leave your work and walk all the way to the gate only to discover a beggar. What disturbance! And what guts! When out of the house, beggars torment you with an ever-increasing intensity. Every individual has become sick of these beggars. They are disturbing you everywhere.
Internet begging is the modern practice of asking people to give money to others via the Internet, rather than in person. Internet begging is usually targeted at people who are acquainted with the beggar, but it may be advertised to strangers. Internet begging encompasses requests for help in meeting basic needs such as medical care and shelter, and requests for people to pay for vacations, school trips, and other things that the beggar wants but cannot comfortably afford.
The Remedy of Beggary: Begging needs remedy. We should adopt the following measures. To remove beggars and begging is a must for the country’s welfare. We are to look through other countries how they have cured beggars and begging. Let us consider England in this regard. In England, there are poor law institutions maintained by the community.
Those, who are rendered unfit for work and have none to support, are removed to the charitable institutions like the Parish houses generally attached to the church and kept there as a charge on society. There are vagrancy laws that make begging by the able-bodied are a punishable crime. In socialist countries, the disabled are guaranteed financial aid and allowances
Ours is a developing country where the problem is always before the public urgently demanding a solution. The beggars are at the steps of restaurants, hotels, temples, mosques and even educational institutions. Familiarity with the sight of the diseased and maimed has dulled our human sensibility and paralyzed our conscience and cognition. We just look at them and pass on a coin into an outstretched palm.
We also forget that the diseases are very often a social menace and should be prevented from spreading contagious by rounding them up as the disabled and deformed area social scrouge. On the other hand, the problem of the able-bodied beggars is vexatious. But the class of religious mendicants presents a ticklish problem. We do not know how to deal with them. Yet, the humiliating begging must not be encouraged.
The beggars live a nomadic life being scattered here and there. They have deprived of sanitary latrines. As a result, the place where they live gets polluted by them. They obstruct our daily life. The rehabilitating of the beggars is a crying need. They need shelter, food and clothes many of them need works or employment.
It is not at all possible on the part of the Govt. of a developing country like ours to do the needful for the real beggars. So both the Govt. and the moneyed men should come forward in this regard for its immediate remedy.
Conclusion: Begging is disreputable that brings nothing to society but a burden of heavy nature. Awareness should be created among them that begging is not employment but a curse.