India is a home of Beggars. In no other country you will find so many beggars. The reason is that begging is a profession in India. Many of the beggars are beggars by birth. They do not like to change their profession. The make their living with ease.
Clothes and Appearance:
All Indian Beggars are an object of pity. They wear rags. Some are seen in loincloth only. They go about from place to place on their daily rounds. They have begging bowls or bags in their hands. They are very persistent. They are dead to all sense of shame.
Some wear loose yellow clothes. They cover their bodies with ashes. They have long matted hair. Some of them are really disabled. Some are crippled or blind. They deserve our help and sympathy. Some beggars warp oiled rags round their legs. They pretend to cripples.
How They Beg:
The beggar is usually quite clever and even cunning. He has many ways and means of begging. He may go about as a pretended sadhu. He keeps a bowl in had and chants a few blessings. He deceives the ladies. He may sing some holy songs and his musical instrument. Then he is sure of a good living. The children and women welcome such type of beggar. If he has a good voice, he earns a lot.
The beggar may sit just by the roadside. He may pretend to be deaf or blind. If he is actually blind, he may cry his blindness. Thus he rouses pity of people. In some cases he may have a child or two who are clad in dirty rags. They cry and weep as if starving.
Why there are so many Beggars in India:
The people in India are religious minded. The Hindus believe in the rebirth of soul after death. They think that if they would do good actions, God would be pleased with them and he would send them to this world again as men. The Muslims too believe that if they would do well to their fellow-beings, they would be sent to Jannat (paradise) on the Day of Judgment. Soon all people are charitable by nature. Hence they distribute food among the beggars.
The charitable deposition of the people encourages beggary. People can get bread, flour, clothes and money without any effort of hard work on their part. So they like to be beggars. Besides this, the absence of workhouse or poor houses compels the blind, the lame and disabled people to take to begging. They have to means of supporting themselves. When they get no help from the Government, they become beggars.
Besides ordinary beggars, there are religious beggars. The Muslim beggars are called faqirs, while the Hindus beggars are called Sadhus. Some of these faquirs and Sadhus are very pious and learned. They give up everything of this world.
The beggars are idlers. They cause a great loss of labor and industry to the nation. Their manual labor could have been better utilized in factories or mills. They would have produced useful work. The healthy beggars should not give any alms. They should be discouraged in every ways so that they may become the useful members of the society.