By Ajaz Rashid
Begging, a practice that has been prevalent in our society for a long time, has become a significant menace that we cannot ignore. The sight of people begging on the streets, at traffic signals, in markets, and outside places of worship has become an everyday occurrence. While some individuals beg out of desperation, many others engage in begging as a profession. The latter group has turned begging into an organized crime, preying on the sympathy of the people to make easy money. Begging ‘A Nexus of Crime’
The practice of begging is not only illegal, but it is also dehumanizing and robs individuals of their dignity. Those who beg on the streets are often subject to harassment, abuse, and exploitation. Many of them are vulnerable, including women, children, and the elderly. They are often forced into begging by organized begging rings, who take a significant portion of their earnings.
The issue of begging is not limited to the individual begging, but it also affects the broader society. Begging rings operate as a nexus of organized crime, engaging in activities such as human trafficking, drug trafficking, and even terrorism. The money earned through begging is often used to fund these activities, making it all the more necessary to address the issue of begging in our society.
Several measures can be taken to combat the begging menace in our society. First and foremost, it is essential to create awareness about the issue and its consequences. People need to understand that giving money to beggars only encourages the practice and strengthens the begging rings. Instead, people should be encouraged to donate to legitimate charities and organizations that work towards the betterment of the underprivileged.
Secondly, the government needs to take strict action against those engaged in organized begging rings. The police should launch drives to identify and arrest those involved in these activities. The government should also provide vocational training and rehabilitation programs to those who want to leave the begging profession and re-enter mainstream society.
Thirdly, we as a society need to change our attitudes towards those who beg. We need to recognize that they are not just beggars but individuals who deserve our respect and empathy. We need to create a society that is inclusive and provides equal opportunities to all. This can be achieved through educational initiatives, community development programs, and the provision of social security nets for the vulnerable sections of society.
The issue of begging in our society is a complex one that requires a multifaceted approach. We need to address the issue at its root by creating awareness, taking strict action against organized begging rings, and changing our attitudes towards those who beg. It is only through concerted efforts by the government, civil society, and individuals that we can eradicate the begging menace from our society and create a more just and equitable society for all.