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Beggary in India

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Beggary in India Associated with the problems of poverty and unemployment is the problem of beggary which is a social problem of great magnitude and grave concern in developing countries. Begging is a problem for society in as much as a large number of beggars means non utilization of available human resources and drag upon the existing resources of the society. According to a recent survey by Delhi School of Social Work there has been a phenomenal increase in the numbers of beggars in India. In
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  Beggary in India Associated with the problems of poverty and unemployment is the problem of beggarywhich is a social problem of great magnitude and grave concern in developingcountries. Begging is a problem for society in as much as a large number of beggarsmeans non utilization of available human resources and drag upon the existingresources of the society.According to a recent survey by Delhi School of Social Work there has been aphenomenal increase in the numbers of beggars in India. In a decade since 1991 theirnumber has gone up by a lakh.There are some 60,000 beggars in Delhi, over 3,00,000 in Mumbai according to a 2004 Action Aid report; nearly 75000 in Kolkata saysthe Beggar Research Institute; 56000 in Bangalore according to police records. InHyderabad one in every 354 people is engaged in begging according to Council of Human Welfare in 2005.It is common to find beggars at rubbish dumbs, road sides, and traffic lights andunder flyovers. The frail, crippled and mentally ill share space with children, womenand able bodied men. The line that separates beggars from the casual poor is gettingslimmer in a country where one in every four goes to bed hungry every night and 78million are homeless. Over 71% of Delhi's beggars are driven by poverty. More than66% beggars are able -bodied. The survey reveals that begging as a livelihood winsover casual labour. For 96% the average daily income is Rs 80 more than what dailywage earners can make. Spending patterns also reveals a unique pattern: 27%beggars spend Rs 50-100 a day.Mumbai is home to majority of beggars. According to the Maharashtra Governmentthey are worth Rs. 180 crore a year with daily income ranging between Rs 20-80.Almost every survey profiles beggars as a largely contented lot unwilling to take uphonest labour. Nearly 26% in the DSSW survey claimed they were happy.81%claimed that they do not face any problem during begging and only 15% mentionedhumiliation from public and police. A survey done in 2004 by the Social DevelopmentCentre of Mumbai revealed similar attitude. The majority of beggars see it as aprofitable and viable profession.However study published in the International Journal of Psychological Rehabilitationby Dr Yogesh Thakker reveals that 39% of the 49 beggars surveyed in Gujarat'sBaroda district by a group of medicos suffer from one or other psychiatric illness.Nearly 74% of them had a history of addiction, psychiatric illness in the family andpoor attitude of family members towards them. Over 68% admitted to feeling of shame and losing self-esteem, 25% to guilt, 4% to suicidal tendencies and 8% toanti-social activities.There is no proper enumeration of beggars in the country. Moreover the number of women and children is ever increasing. The 1931 census mentioned just 16% womenbeggars. The figure shot up to 49% in 2001.There are 10 million street children manyamong who beg for livelihood.The biggest problem lies in the changing attitude towards beggars. According to MrUpendra Baxi former vice-chancellor traditionally begging has been an accepted wayof life in India. Giving alms to the needy was built into the social fabric. That changedwith the colonial rule. To the Victorians beggary embodied laziness and moral  degeneration. Colonial laws held a beggar punishable for his condition. The newlyindependent nation imbibed this attitude towards poverty. In the new millennium theGovernment doesn't want them lying around middle class regards them as a nuisance.India's beggary laws are a throwback to the centuries old European vagrancy lawswhich instead of addressing the socio-economic issues make the poor criminallyresponsible for their position. The definition of beggar in law states as anyone whoappears poor. The anti-beggar legislation is aimed at removing the poor from the faceof the city. The beggars who have spent years on the street find it very difficult to livein confined space. There are provisions for vocational training in the government runbeggar homes. But these are worse than the third rate jails where convicts can spendup to 10 years.India as a nation needs to think for its begging population. With the nation aspiring toachieve world standards in every field socio-economic measures are needed to curbthe begging problem in India. The solution calls for a comprehensive programme andreorientation of the existing programmes. Philanthropic approach to beggar problemshould be replaced by therapeutic and rehabilitative work. THE PROBLEM OF BEGGARY IN INDIA Posted In Essays - By  Xtremend On Thursday, March 17th, 2011 With 0 Comments  “He who begs timidly courts refusal   ” —  SenecaIn India, the tradition of charily is as old as civilization itself. The true Indian culture calls uponevery man or woman to part with some of his or her earnings lo help the poor and the needy.The problem beggary should not, therefore, be seen in isolation as it has its roots in the basicinfrastructure of our society. Beggary is not new to India. It is an age old practice. Many a timein our history books we can read about some king or noble man who periodically distributed gifts amongst the poor. Our holy men and „sanyasis‟ who lived away from dries used to come to the cities to collect some alms or meals. But today beggary has become a profession. One can findbeggars at all busy crossings, at the railway stations or the bus stands, at busy corners, neartemples and gurudwaras and at all other places where people are likely to visit They give outpathetic cries and present pathetic looks.They have different ways of coaxing the innocent people into parting with a coin or two, anarticle of dress or a part of their food. Many of these beggars are perfect hypocrites andswindlers. Even though they are hefty and sturdy, they are not prepared to earn their living byputting in honest labour.Many a time the government has taken steps to ban this evil practice. Legislations have beenenacted. Beggary has been banned, but it has made no difference. No law can be effective unlessit has a social support.Beggary is a blot on the face of any society and thus it should be tackled and wiped out like anyother contagious disease. It is only with the active co-operation of the people that the problem of beggary can be solved. It is true that poverty is one of the main causes of beggary. The  government should come out with rehabilitation schemes for the beggars. Able bodied men andwomen should be encouraged to work. It is only possible if the rich decide not to help the poor inbecoming beggars. The old and the infirm should be sent to state run charity houses. Religiousinstitutions and social and charitable trusts should be set up to cater to the needs of such bothmen or sanyasis as choose to renounce this world and dedicate themselves to the Almighty or tothe service of mankind.Lack of proper awareness is one of the causes that makes people accept this evil of beggingwithout protest. Awareness can only come through education. Only if people are educated, theywill come forward and cooperate with the government in fighting out this evil. Laxity on the partof the authorities is also encouraging beggars. On account of vested interests the governmentalso hesitates to burn its fingers by using force.
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