Given the overwhelming number of beggars in our country it’s high time to ponder about one vital question- should we give our money to beggars or not. Before opening our wallet we need to consider a few important factors- are the beggars playing on our sympathy? Would the entire amount be spent on booze and drugs? Therefore before giving out our hard earned money we should carefully weigh in the happiness our money could give the less privileged ones. In this article we are going to discuss the pros and cons of giving alms to the beggars and homeless.
The case for giving
Most of us end up giving a few coins to the beggars because it makes us feel good. Helping out people in need is a basic human trait and we never know when we might find ourselves in a similar situation. There is nothing wrong with having compassion for the millions of less fortunate people in our country. There are many of us who rightly feel that giving money to the ones who need it is one of the best ways of spending the money. Donating to a charity is surely a good idea but it could result in loads of time lags and administrative expenses and only a fraction of your donated amount would trickle down to the needy. Giving alms to beggars on the other hand is quick and easy. However the fact that the beggars tend to spend their money quickly can also be a cause of concern.
The downside of giving money to the beggars
In a country like India where organized begging has become synonymous with human trafficking we need to think twice before handing over some money to the poor. According to official reports over 60,000 children disappears in India every year, many of who are forced to work as beggars by the organized criminals. According to another report there are about 300,000 child beggars in the country who are drugged, beaten and are made to beg in the streets. Begging in India is a multi million rupees industry which is being controlled by the mafias and human traffickers. Some of the children are even maimed or burnt to elicit more sympathy from the alms givers. So there is a high chance that the money you are giving to the kids would end up in the coffers of the traffickers.
What we should do?
Giving money to the poor is like a crisis of the heart where we are torn between the desire to alleviate the suffering of a person while knowing that the money might aggravate rather than relive the anguish of the beggar. If you really want to do something for the poor then think about donating to a charitable organization who are building shelters, schools, old age homes or de-addiction centre for the poor. If your heart really goes out for the less fortunate people then you can always alleviate their suffering by giving them things in kind instead of cash. Start with giving out food, blankets or clothes to the poor people in your neighbourhood instead of money. Dropping a change to the beggar’s bowl only helps to relieve our guilt rather than addressing the crisis of poverty.