An essay on beggars.
In a big city like Calcutta we see innumerable beggars. Their number is always on the increase. Many of them live on the pavements of the streets. The increasing number of beggars has become a problem for the Government. Our Government should try to solve this problem without delay.
Why people beg
Extreme poverty is the main cause of begging. Our religious sentiment also encourages people to beg. We think it is our duty to give alms to the beggars when they come to our door for begging. Some people take advantages of this sentiment. In spite of being able-bodied people they do not like to work hard to earn their bread. On the other hand, religious sentiment of the people will not allow them to refuse to give them alms. So we see a large number of able-bodied beggars.
Which class of beggars should be helped
Among the beggars we see blind and lame men, deaf and dumb men. There are lepers. There are very weak and infirm old people. It is not possible for them to work to earn their bread. We should help these poor people. Humanity demands it. But we should not encourage able-bodied people to beg. They are false beggars. They should not draw our sympathy. Sometimes poor people come to beg from villages to the city. There is scarcity of food there due to flood or other reasons. So they are forced to leave their homes. They come to the city for food. They are temporary beggars. Many people are unemployed. They are forced to beg.
Beggars are found in large numbers in holy places, at tram and bus stops, in front of markets and cinema houses. In holy places, people are surrounded by them. There they will make your life miserable. They become a nuisance then. You cannot walk peacefully in the street, at the bus or tram stop. They will come and annoy you.
Begging should be stopped
In some western countries Egging in the streets or open places has been stopped. A beggar will be punished if he is found begging openly. The Government in those countries, however, have made provision for them. Unemployed people get pension from the State. There are homes for the poor invalid people. They are given food. If the beggars are found fit for work, they are made to do some profitable work. Such system should be introduced in our country also. Children of beggars should be sent to school at the expense of the Government.