Beggars in India

A woman carrying a baby, seemingly sick and sound asleep, running around begging for food or money in the scorching sun is a common sight in India. Heart rendering isn’t it? The first reaction would always be to hand out any food or money available to give some sort of comfort to the child. But hold on a second and read through before acting on the very basic human instinct.

Beggars in India is a reality

"Beggars in India"
Source: ruffin_ready's on flickr

There is more to begging and beggars in India than meets the eye. Poverty is a sad reality about the country. It is a conundrum that is deep rooted and in spite of the efforts made by the Government and the Non Government Organisations (NGOs), it will take considerable time to phase out. The beggars are just one of the by-products of this mess.

Now there may be some who are genuine and forced to beg out of compulsion. But more often than not there are well organized gangs who run begging rackets. Yes unbelievable but true there are big syndicates whose sole source of income is begging. For them begging is the easy way to earn money and they do it by playing on the sympathy of the unsuspecting tourist or passerby.

Sometimes it will be children, some with a visible deformity, even amputated hands and legs or a burnt body part on display; ladies pretending to be mothers carrying their apparently sick babies in lap, who are more often than not rented; aged women and men. Yes these sights are appalling and quite moving but it is very important to react carefully when dealing with them.

As a tourist one needs to be cautious as they are more likely to be targeted and taken advantage of. One can find beggars around eminent monuments, railway stations, religious and spiritual sites, and shopping districts. In big cities they can be found at major traffic intersections where they approach vehicles while the lights are red. It is often best to ignore these people; harsh perhaps but that is indeed the best way out. Many a times you may give something to a beggar out of the kindness of your heart but the very next moment you will be hounded for more by others of the gang. Unfortunately this is the way it works.

Still if your heart wants to help them, only give 10-20 rupees or buy them some food at a time and that too while you are leaving the place to prevent being mobbed. Being generous is good but often in today’s world it is one’s kindness that is taken advantage of. They say wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for a kindness but is also true wherever there is a human being, there is also an opportunity for being duped. Be careful, be alert and be informed to make your holiday free from any untoward incidences!

Despite India’s growing economy, beggars in India is a reality.

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Shalu Sharma

Shalu Sharma is a blogger and a writer from Bihar, India. She is the founder of YouBihar, the Bihar social networking site and writer on tourism in India. Apart from blogging, she is also a mother who does cooking and washing. She also watches movies and read other blogs. You can follow her on .

17 thoughts on “Beggars in India

  • June 12, 2012 at 6:30 pm
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    Hi

    Nice post . The saddest part are the children involved in this including the babies .

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  • June 15, 2012 at 6:45 am
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    I have a soft heart for beggars. Sad to see people sitting on sidewalks asking for alms with nothing to eat. Their government should work harder to lessen beggars in the street.

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  • July 18, 2012 at 10:12 am
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    i like posted this video.it’s very fun they will definitely keep you laughing.
    I hope these information will come in handy
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • February 27, 2013 at 10:25 am
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    You probably would not empathise with them, Matt if you knew that most of them will jeer you and if you offer them work instead of taking to begging.90% of them (if not more) are habitual beggars, who do not WANT to work.
    Twitter:

    Reply
  • April 3, 2013 at 7:57 am
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    Th real sad part is so many babies are also involved in this mess are the officials do not take any methods to get overcome from this

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  • May 9, 2013 at 12:54 pm
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    there are not beggars they are really pageant of India more they are more the progress nation

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  • November 9, 2013 at 6:12 pm
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    Lots of beggars, but decreasing. a caste system still is in place, though illegal by law.

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  • February 24, 2014 at 1:42 am
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    I deal with the beggars in India the way I deal with beggars in San Francisco — I ignore them whenever possible. And I do not let them touch me.

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  • May 8, 2014 at 2:15 pm
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    I feel so sad when I see beggars begging all around in India. Sometimes I feel pity for them but sometimes I even think why do they beg except for the fact if they have some inbuilt weakness.

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  • June 29, 2014 at 10:13 am
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    In india begging became a profession and some more notorious criminals are involve in it.

    I really feel sad when i see how they use sick kid for begging. sad very sad

    Reply
  • July 18, 2014 at 9:58 am
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    poverty in India is verry deep. The slum areas are packed with beggars and thiefs

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  • February 9, 2015 at 9:37 am
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    Hello
    I am a media student, and would like to use this blog of yours for resources I am collecting for making a short movie on Beggars, your blog looks quite relevant to what I am searching for.

    Reply
  • March 18, 2015 at 12:32 pm
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    u r working nice really.. salute to u on yr work ….

    Reply
  • September 18, 2015 at 8:06 am
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    The government should make a policy to helps them out for their problems. it really make me sad how beggars numbers increasingly fast.

    Reply

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