Don’t be shocked to see this in India

street life in India

If you are travelling to India then one of the most striking features that you will notice is her poverty. You might have heard of lots of nice things about how India is making progress and about its growing economy. That is all well and good and rightly so; millions of people have been uplifted out of poverty. You can read more about poverty in India here. Gone are the days when people used to starve to death – thankfully none of that anymore.

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How much would you give this poor Indian Boy?

Boy selling pens

The trouble with Indians is that we love bragging how great our country is and how ancient our religion is and on. But does it really matter if children like these have to sell and beg to make a living? If you are going on holiday to India then you are going to see a lot of these. In fact, every time your taxi stops at the traffic light in Delhi then a boy or girl just like in the picture will come  up to you to beg or approach you to sell something. Coming from abroad, you might find this heartbreaking and out of pity you might end up buying whatever they’re selling. But we as Indians are almost immune to sights like these and most of us would probably turn a blind eye and even shoo them away.

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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.

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