500+ Words Essay on Beggars in India
A beggar is someone who begs for alms from other people. This is mainly because a beggar has no source of income other than begging. He is forced to beg for money or food from other people in order to feed his family.
Many beggars are also disabled and thus do not possess the ability to fend for themselves. Another section of beggars includes old people who have been abandoned by their family and are too weak or diseased to earn a living. Unfortunately, most beggars are children.
Children have the ability to invoke sympathy from people. Thus, families often send children to beg and fend for the entire family.
Another category of children who beg is part of child trafficking rackets. In some cases, families are forced into begging when an unfortunate event like the death of the bread earner or loss of assets due to natural disasters occur.
Beggars often live in slums or on the roadside or below a bridge. They do not have access to basic living conditions like clean water or sanitation.
They cannot afford education for their children or the cost of a hospital when they fall sick. Beggars are found everywhere. More commonly, they can be seen in traffic signals or outside temples, mosques, or churches.
These religious places are particularly targeted as this is where people are more likely to donate for charity. When children beg instead of going to school, the nation loses out on the opportunity of not only another bright mind, but it is also a drawback for the literacy efforts.
Lack of employment is the major cause of begging. As much as many people consider beggars to be a burden on the country, we must understand that ignoring the problem will not solve it. It is our responsibility to explore the causes and find a solution to the problem plaguing our society today.
Factors which lead to Begging in India
Poverty is by far the major cause noticed across the country. As per data by the Ministry of Social Justice, there are about 4 lakh beggars in the country. The highest number of beggars are found in the state of West Bengal.
This means that more than 4 lakh people do not have a fixed source of income and are vulnerable to exploitation. They do not have access to education, water, food, or even a roof over their head.
Unemployment is another significant cause leading to begging. There is huge competition for unorganized sector jobs in the country. The demand is lesser than the supply. With no education, manual labour and other unorganized sector jobs are the only options for beggars.
Contractors use this compulsion to their advantage and pay very less, especially to children and women. This leads to not being able to earn enough to feed the entire family.
Thus, they are forced to beg for help. Further, unskilled labour opportunities are few and far apart. The government has failed in providing them with productive opportunities.
Vices are yet another cause of concern. Often, families do earn enough for sustenance if the earnings are appropriately managed.
But, when they indulge the money in gambling, drinking, and other vices, they fail to take care of their family. These not only forces children to drop out of schools, but it also leads to young hands begging for food.
Impact of Begging in India
Due to the above causes, beggars are forced to resort to begging for alms to support themselves and their families. Begging is not a productive activity. It does not contribute to the growth of the nation.
It hinders national progress. It prevents people from engaging in occupations that contribute to the welfare of society. It is a wasted potential for society.
Another major problem with begging is creating another generation of illiterate adults who depended on unskilled labour or begging. Most beggars take their children with them to create sympathy, and this keeps them away from education.
This phenomenon further pushes the family into a cycle of poverty begging and illiteracy, which carries on from generation to generation. This is also a loss of opportunity for the nation to ensure that education is not the monopoly of the rich.
Another major issue is child trafficking to beg. Many child trafficking rackets, kidnap children who can earn more money than adults in begging. These children are robbed of their childhood and their family, sent off to a faraway place to beg. Even after the government’s best efforts, they have failed to eradicate this problem.
Moreover, a fair percentage of beggars are disabled or too old to earn their living. Their cost of living and hospital expenses force them to beg. The government has not been able to come up with an effective solution to deal with this issue.
Further, due to their vulnerability, beggars are prone to enter the world of crime and be exploited. This is especially true for young adults from families that depend on begging. They often do not have anyone to guide them and thus resort to criminal activities to earn quick money.
The union government has developed a centrally sponsored Integrated Child Protection Scheme (ICPS) for children in need of care and protection (CNCP), including those caught begging. Implementation of parts JJ Act or the Juvenile Justice Act, which can help in eradicating begging, has been implemented in various states.
But the Delhi HC declared in 2018 that begging is not a crime. However, no particular efforts have been taken by the government to target and eradicate begging particularly. This is the reason why the government came under fire for shifting beggars when US President Donald Trump visited India.
It is necessary that we, as a society, support the government in the eradication of begging as a practice. Instead of attacking the problem from its roots, we are presently trying to find temporary solutions.
We must find ways to prevent children from begging to begin effectively. This has a major impact on the development of the child. As citizens, we must not encourage children who are begging by giving money.
Further, any such cases of begging should be reported to the government as it is not only child abuse but also child labour. Further, the government must implement mechanisms to provide unskilled employment to able-bodied beggars. This will not only provide them with an income, but it will also help them contribute to the nation’s productive activities.
Those with vices must be rehabilitated if required. Further, abandoning old aged parents must be made a crime. Old age homes must be arranged for them. Skilled activities that can be performed by the disabled must be identified, and they must be provided with means to do so.
Unemployment pension is a temporary solution and does not solve the problem. Begging must be strictly prohibited and enforced.
The government must look to spend more on welfare schemes to ensure that every individual has access to the basic amenities of life. The only way to eradicate the menace is by providing a balance of sufficient opportunities to earn their living and supporting these efforts with welfare schemes.