Why Does India Have Beggars
Some say that an organized mafia that traffics children and forces them to beg is the biggest contributor to begging. But that’s not the truth. There are other causes of begging. Let’s first make it clear what it means to ‘ beg’. You might say that a beggar is a person who relies on others for his/her sustenance. But relying on charity isn’t a recent phenomenon for India. 250 years ago, Vaishwat Manu talked about charity in his writings. He asserts that a king should help those who are orphaned or old.
Begging for alms is considered a pivotal moment in a monk/nun’s day because it brings higher into contact with others. In this context, in pre-colonial India, begging was a part of our religious and social traditions. In this context, in pre-colonial India, begging was a part of our religious and social traditions. But, our perspective towards this changed during colonial rule. The British believed that the influx of beggars into cities would invite certain problems. For instance, an article published in the Times of India in 1879, stated that beggars would spread diseases in the cities, and made a case for them to be deported away from the city.
Some people argue that the British were right and that we are confusing the concept of ” begging” and ” charity”. Those who rely on alms are usually monks who lead a spiritual life. So, having them all is our religious duty. But, begging as we know it today is a social problem. The beggars today don’t have a spiritual goal. that’s why some consider them to be social parasites. While others argue that despite them not contributing anything of value to society, we must help them with their basic needs. At least you can understand that some people have been living in the same conditions for the past 40-50 years.
Now a question:
Why do some people in India resort to begging? Mainly, it’s due to three reasons. One, the most obvious reason, is poverty and unemployment. According to an estimate, around 50-60% of the beggars in Delhi resorted to begging in the past two years due to job loss. Apart from poverty, the second reason is a disability. Unfortunately, in our country, if a person is born with a disability, it’s often assumed that they’re not fit for work. The third reason is religion. Many researchers argue that some people beg due to religious reasons.