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    Results 1 to 15 of 15
    1. #1
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      suroor_ca02's Avatar
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      http://www.dawn.com/weekly/dmag/dmag4.htm

      Few things disrupt public life on roads and streets with more audacity than beggars chasing people for a paltry amount of money. It is becoming an increasingly common phenomenon to be interrupted, often insolently, while driving a car or on foot, by a barefoot child, a seemingly healthy woman carrying a bandaged infant, or an aging man waving a few pages of eveningers at you. They have become a big source of distraction for the public. Most of them shamelessly shock commuters in an attempt to generate maximum sympathy. They have horrific appearances or disabilities that are a convenient tool for extorting whatever little money they can, walking, limping or roller-skating with amputated legs up and down a road all day. For some commuters it does arouse an element of pity, while for many of them it is no more than a sickening nuisance.

      “Because they won’t leave alone my windshield and start cleaning it with a dirty cloth or incessantly knock at the window, I have kept denominations of Rs500 inside my dashboard to give them as soon as they come near my car,” says a resident of Lahore.

      But most people, mainly women, see these beggars as more of a blessing in disguise than irritating entities. They find beggars to be the most readily available recipients of charity (or sadqah nikalna) on a regular basis whenever commuting around the city. It is often their philanthropic spirit that makes them fork out money.

      In the same spirit one woman says: “My husband and I don’t give money to these women beggars, but when we see an old man we always give him because he has to feed his entire family.” People have different justifications for giving charity to different kinds of beggars who they believe appear to be needy.

      Though there is no doubt that many people resort to begging because of poverty, at the same time they exploit their economic condition to earn a certain level of subsistence. They employ different methods to get easy money which they can “earn” standing by the roadside, often taking shelter under a tree or sitting while the traffic signal turns green, instead of earning the same amount labouring all day under any kind of weather conditions. This is why many physically fit young men are usually seen begging on the streets.

      If on the one hand the affluent see beggars as a medium to purifying (or legalize) their wealth, the beggars find this occupation the easiest way to earn a living. Hence this relationship has abetted beggary and turned it into an organized form.

      Beggary has become a profession for most of those who are part of a much larger industry that recruits, trains and relocates men, women and children. Two things that drive this industry are ‘shock value’ and religious connotations of charity. To increase the shock value of innocent beggars the industry, run by a menacing mafia, has enough tricks up its sleeve. Acid and cigarette burns, amputation, and starvation are some of them and pose a serious threat to an individual’s health. Few of them affect recruits for the rest of their lives, while others may be painful temporarily, and therefore capable of incurring maximum sympathy only for short-term purposes. The profession, of course, has a host of idiosyncrasies attached to it, including glue sniffing, drug abuse (even among very young children), minor criminal tendencies, prostitution, sexual abuse and coercion.

      “The people I worked for made me beg and use drugs. I was addicted to ‘solution’,” says Ansar, a boy rescued off the streets of Hira Mandi, Lahore’s red-light area, by the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau set-up in 2004.

      “They burned my arm and my stomach with solution, so that I could beg more,” he says when inquired about a scar on his arm. The left side of his entire chest is burnt down to his stomach. “I went to a doctor in the neighbourhood who took me to a hospital where I had to stay for a month and a half,” he adds. Ansar had to give Rs70 to Rs80 to the Mafioso everyday.

      The bureau, working for the rescue and rehabilitation of destitute children, has rescued over 500 children from the streets of Lahore as part of its pilot project. These children have come from cities that include Kohat, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan and Rawalpindi. There are enough recruits for the industry to be exported from the cities of their origin without affecting the beggar population there.

      Explaining the industry’s modus ope***** CPWB chairperson and adviser to the chief minister on children’s rights, Dr Faiza Asghar, says that beggar children earn 200-250 rupees everyday, but what happens is that either their fathers are addicts and take away all the money or there is an intermediary mafia that takes the children from poor parents for begging all day in exchange of providing for the child. The mafia then keeps most part of the earning — 180 or 190 out of 200 — and the child is left with only 10 rupees to take home.

      Haider from Kasur is caught up in similar arrangements. He has been begging at the Lahore Railway Station lately. “I was 10 years old when I ran from home; then Bashir Dare-ala took me, but I ran from home again, but he got hold of me one more time. The gang took money from my family, Rs500 or sometimes Rs1,000, saying they provide for my meals three times a day and give me shoes and clothes,” he says.

      The intermediary entity of the beggar mafia exploits both the poor and the rich taking advantage of the immense economic divide between the two in our society. Neither gain any benefits. The poor remain eternally poor and the affluent ones’ money cannot reach the truly needy. In the presence of such networks in society, the public alone cannot deal with the evil.

      Recently, the Punjab government has taken steps to deal with a major group of recruits for this industry, the children. The CPWB was set-up under the Punjab Destitute and Neglected Children Act, 2004. It carries out periodic rescue operations in alliance with the police squad. Over 82 operations since last December have been undertaken, based on information gathered from its pockets in civil society or open reception centres operating at strategic locations where beggar children spend time, are given temporary care and finally rescued. The bureau is given custody of the rescued children, who are then admitted to the Child Protection Institution where they live, attend school and play. Upon identification, the Child Protection Court hands over custody to their parents/guardians giving them guarantee that they will not be seen on the streets again.

      Dr Asghar claims that among the 500 children, the repeaters are only 20 who have been seen by the patrol squad on the streets, only six of whose parents/guardians have been fined up to Rs1,000, two jailed for three months and two for 20 days under court orders.

      In the event of rescuing children, certain gangs have been busted whose number the bureau puts at 14. These include gangs like Kala Ungal Kaat, Zafar Urf Zafri Karachi Wala, Ashraf Urf Kala and Imam Bakhsh Urf Nathu gangs. They have been put behind bars or are facing trials. Counting the bureau’s accomplishments she says: “We have caught them from inside the sewers, from Data Darbar, supposedly worshipping or from the Minar-i-Pakistan making children sell drugs.”

      However, Dr Asghar says that undertaking one massive operation clean-up would be almost impossible because in such an operation the mafia goes underground. It has a tight network whereby one gang instantly gets to know that a child from another gang in a far-off locality was picked up by the authorities.

      The law that prohibits beggary and gives the powers to arrest to the police has existed for 46 years before the PDNCA. However, the increasing presence of beggars at shrines, on the roads, or in the markets, is proof that the police has not yet been mobilized to begin a crackdown on the mafia. Lahore operations police chief, Amir Zulfiqar says: “Dealing with beggary is definitely our priority, but given our time constraint our priorities do change.” While the police department finds time off other pressing duties like keeping a check on the law and order situation in the cities during the local bodies elections, perhaps the public can do its bit by denying any amount of money to the beggars. With their product demand gone, dons like Bashir Dare-ala might be reined in.
      --------------------------------------------

      its such a complex issue in pakistan. and there seem to be an increase in the number of beggars u see on the roads n corners of the streets. and since there just so many of them, u just dont know who is the real 'haqdaar' of the money. especially children, u can't resist giving something to them, but at the same time u just know what they will use the money for and it gets really scary when they start stalking u. another new trend in pakistan seem to be of 'hijras' begging. they'll constantly bug u or chase u even touch u on the shoulders again n again till u just give in and put some money in their hand to get rid of them. how do u deal with beggars in pakistan?
      - I swear to drunk I am not God :-/

    2. #2
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      It is hard to deal with beggars, cause like you said, you just don't know who is legit and who isn't. I remember getting all teary eyed the first time I went two years ago cause I couldn't understand the poverty in Karachi. Coming from Canada where we live in total luxury, it made no sense to me, why are these children begging for money? Why do they have to train a monkey to do tricks in order to earn a living? What on earth are these kids doing out on the streets so late?

      My khaloo is a police officer and he goes that most of these beggers are part of a mafia and they give whatever money they get to their 'boss'. I don't know what is true and what is false. I remember one person ask me for British pounds!!! They didn't want rupees that I was giving, the person ended up throwing it on the floor. They wanted more and in a foreign currency ! When things like this happen, how do you know who to believe and who not to believe?

      Me and my brother were stalked walking in Saddar earlier this year by little girls. You give one person money and out of no where, 50 other kids come running and they started pulling at my arm and kameez begging for money. It really freaked me out cause we were on our own and you know my Urdu isn't that great.

      What can we do though? One option is to offer buying them and their families food at which point they will disappear ... haha, my dad did that once and the guy said no (after proclaiming that he needed to buy his family food cause they were starving), so my dad said he would buy them food and the beggar flat out refused. In a way, it has become a profession .... but do these kids/people have any other choice? What are the alternatives if they are recruited into a life of crime from an early age?

      It's not just in Pakistan. The same thing happened in Saudi Arabia, particularly Mecca.

    3. #3
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      I used to get annoyed and all whenever these beggars approached me ...n I had the same philosophy that most of them don't deserve etc.

      One day, my mother asked me,we are blessed with soooo much ...do you really think we 'deserve' it...???Surely we don't but He's still giving us ....so why not we should give....its not our place to decide who deserves it or not ....!!'
      needless to mention tat it relly made mwe think n i felt ashamed ....now i try to keep a lot of change with me so i can give ....no matter how little is it!

    4. #4
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      I also agree with Afia, it is not our place to decide who is deserving and not. Because hamari niyaat tau saaf hai baqi Allah janta hai.

      On the other side i have a funny story to share. Hubby and I went to Pak after 8 months of our marriage. It was my first time visiting my inlaws so i was nervous. At the airport hubby started getting all the luggage together while i wanted to go to the bathroom to freshen-up. Okay this maasi started following me and locked me in the bathroom. She said she will not let me out until i gave her 20 dollars. It was so scary at the time. She locked the door and was standing in front of it. I said i don't have any money and my husband has it let me out and i will get it from him. But the woman was so scary and persistent that i had to give her 20 to let me out.
      Allah is Watching........

    5. #5
      just another member.....
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      Muzna's Avatar
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      I'm afraid of not giving. What if the beggar is legit and his/her needs legit?
      I'm such a pushover.
      "There are much tougher decisions that you will have to make. And you will make them silently and strongly; no one will see the storm within." -- Muniya, GS

    6. #6
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      Ms Suroor, forget pakistan. Drive on the Gardiner and exit on Spadina sometime. There is always one or two beggars there. Healthy hattay kattay trailer trash beggers.

      Then the other day i saw another kind of begging at the intersection of Mavis and Britannia. This perfectly fit white woman was standing on an intersection with a big sign saying "Travelling. Hungry. Anything will help." Was that her way of covering her travel expenses?

      If people in a country like Canada can resort to begging, i certainly cannot blame the poor people in Pakistan.

      PS: I saw some in Houston, TX too during a summer i spent there in 1998. And they were not Hispanics incase you're wondering. They too were white.

      Sincerely,
      Captain Lota
      Last edited by Captain Lota; Sep 13th, 2005 at 06:52 PM.
      tussi lang jao, saadi khair aiy

    7. #7
      Bee Jamalo Aunty
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      suroor_ca02's Avatar
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      woah, mahru. that is sooo freaky. i'll remember that when i go to pakistan again

      lota ji, i absolutely do not give anything to all the hattay kattay beggars on the street. in a country like Canada, where u have shelters and food given out to homeless constantly such nojawan beggers doesnt deserve my sympathies. but i always give to those who are crippled or very old.
      - I swear to drunk I am not God :-/

    8. #8
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      Quote Originally Posted by Mahru
      I also agree with Afia, it is not our place to decide who is deserving and not. Because hamari niyaat tau saaf hai baqi Allah janta hai.

      On the other side i have a funny story to share. Hubby and I went to Pak after 8 months of our marriage. It was my first time visiting my inlaws so i was nervous. At the airport hubby started getting all the luggage together while i wanted to go to the bathroom to freshen-up. Okay this maasi started following me and locked me in the bathroom. She said she will not let me out until i gave her 20 dollars. It was so scary at the time. She locked the door and was standing in front of it. I said i don't have any money and my husband has it let me out and i will get it from him. But the woman was so scary and persistent that i had to give her 20 to let me out.
      I experienced a similar thing at the airport too (in Lahore) last yr...i went to Pakistan after 12 yrs and i was so scared at the way every1 was staring at me LOL...but yea when i went to the toliet (it was so filthy!) i noticed a lady in there but at first i didn't even realise she was a beggar, i thought she was just the cleaning lady! and then she tried to get into my stall...i was like wot the ****? (in my head of course) and she got me some toliet paper which was so sweet of her, and i felt so bad for her....i didn't have any money at all....my mum had my american and euro money cos she was gona convert everything altogether, so she was just looking at me with these sad eyes and i just kept smiling...and she went on about something to do with praying or she wud pray for me ? i duno, but i didn't have anything so i went out and asked my mum....she saw how surprised i was (cos i never experienced something like this b4) and gave me a few dollars which i went back in with my mum and gave to her!.....

      Well that was just at the airport...once in Lahore, beggars were everywhere it was so depressing....i felt guilty every time i even drank water and there was some kid staring at me....and then when i wud wana give some1 money all my relatives wud tell me "nahee, yeh log tho sab chor hothey hain". One time i will never forget was when we were all squished in the car in the middle of traffic and out of nowhere this small boy came up to the window just bursting with tears and my heart just stopped u know....i think my mum did give him something cos he wudn't budge, he just stood there crying.

      But there are just too many of them, so like my cousins told me....if u gave money to every beggar that came to u, u wud probably become poor too! But i always also said that if ur neyat is good then that's wot is important and the rest is up to Allah.

      Captain Lota - yes there are a lot of beggars in Houston, mostly whites and some blacks too....and we never gave them money cos most of them just use it to buy beer....one guy even had it on his sign "I won't lie to u, i'm not hungry...i just want a beer!"
      "One must be courageous enough to show displeasure in the presence of someone, and not in their absence."

    9. #9
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      Naughty by Nature's Avatar
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      I remember hearing a story of how some guy in the US was making $200000 a year out of begging...Its a decent job nowadays...just not something to tell your prospective in-laws...

      My mums good with this stuff...her perspective is that you give them money...your intention is correct and you get reward...what they do with the money is not your problem...you do whats in your control...and you get sawab...

      I cant do that though...i remember one time in Tooting...this Kosovan woman was outside Kebabish asking for money...i said to her i was buying myself some food and offered her some...i gave her a £5 note and started ordering my food...didnt keep an eye on the woman and she ran off with my money...havent given any beggar money since then...

      And as for Pakistan...outside the airport its full of them...Initially you are really touched by the state of the people but eventually you become desensitised to it all...i eventually started handing out fake money i got with my candy floss...

      And for those who dont accept your money...**** them...'beggars cant be choosers'...
      Just accept what i give you...

      In places like Pakistan though...i do feel sorry for them...in the West though...i dont have so much sympathy...stop being a bum and go get a job...its only ever Kosovans i see begging you know...and they have just as much capacity as any other immigrant to get jobs...

      Oh yeh...just for those of Islamic inclination...is it haram to beg?...
      "Experience is Not Always the Kindest of Teachers but it is Surely the Best"

    10. #10
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      Roshi's Avatar
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      My heart goes out to beggers for some reason.. I guess i'm just very soft hearted. Just looking at them makes me sad and depressed.
      although my opinion was slighty changed after i watched a program on GEO. It was regarding boys who run away from homes and start doing "nasha" and basically the money they used to purchase that stuff would come from boys who would go out to beg. I really felt sad for them aswell but then i thought what if they wouldn't get any money and then they wouldn't be able to buy that stuff..but then they would find some other means..chori..daka..etc.

      so really when a begger comes up to you... its really hard to know if your helping or helping them destroy their lives.
      ~**~...A Dream is a wish your heart makes...~**~

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      well readin the article.. its clear that we shudnt give money out.. imean all u pps say my heart goes out to em.. rahter then givin the money to em.. y don u give money to yateem khana.. whre all the neglected kids live.. coz then that might encourage the genuine boys to go there rather then pollute our streets.. and also that will cripple the mafia..

      u need to get this into ur head.. they are not gettin a single penny.. tha mafia is.. and by givin money to any kid.. ur actually making path for other to join.. and helping the mafia who do this..

      i do understand that we are not the one to decide.. bt thats not a good excuse.. there are many other charities.. genuine charities who are tryin to save these kids.. bt if we keep givin em money.. we actually are making it hard for these charities..

      so stop givin money to the beggers.. as that just encourages begging.. and also Allah doesnt like ppl begging, unless its serious..

      Allah hafiz
      Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga...
      Doosri ladki ko dekha to waisa laga...

      Jab dono ne sandal maare toh ek jaisa laga...

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      if you actually care about the beggar and aren't just trying to avoid a guilt trip (or even if you are)...just put in a little extra effort and buy them food.

      that will either call their bluff or feed someone who will naturally be hungry.

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      nikhil is actually correct..

      this once.. at jumma.. this dude came cryin to the molvi sayin i need money... food.. shelter ..help, so the molvi saab said ok.. stay with me.. ill keep givin u food and shelter till i can arrange u for sum work

      and u know wat.. the guy didnt cum again.. meanin.. he was a bluff.. he didnt want to work.. and take the easy way out.. and u ppl are the one who encourage em t otake this simple path..

      Allah hafiz
      Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga...
      Doosri ladki ko dekha to waisa laga...

      Jab dono ne sandal maare toh ek jaisa laga...

    14. #14
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      Musharraf is the biggest begger of Pakistan.

      I even understand that beggers in Pakistan accept credit cards as well.
      I HATE HINDI AND URDU SPEAKING PEOPLE.

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      Captain1's Avatar
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      Quote Originally Posted by aussiesikh
      Musharraf is the biggest begger of Pakistan.

      I even understand that beggers in Pakistan accept credit cards as well.
      yes, and the funds are transferred to BJP