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john.sw

Giving to Beggars

Giving to Beggars   1 member has voted

  1. 1. Do you give to Beggars?

    • I never give
      10
    • I sometimes give
      40
    • I always give
      0
  2. 2. On average, how much do you give?

    • I never give
      10
    • A few Paise
      4
    • A few Rs.
      30
    • More than 10 Rs.
      4
    • More than 50 Rs.
      2
    • More than 100 Rs.
      0

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26 posts in this topic

2plonker

why never to children?

for the same reasons as someone else quoted earlier - children can be exploited, and mainly, not to give them an idea of a career in begging, that there is an 'easy' way of earning their keep, just profiting from other's wealth without making an effort to get work/learn a trade. may be I am not putting that elegantly, but that's the gist of it.

whay always to old people - same logic; old people hardly have opportunites open to young people/kids, like, learn a trade and start earning money to maintain themselves. but they still have to eat/sleep/keep warm! and since I have far too more money than the absolute minimum that I need to subsist as a human being, for me it goes without saying that I share some of it with those who (1) have not enough and (2) have no chance to obtain, even if they tried hard.

in fact, it took me a while to start giving to beggars, I have not always been so considerate :D but a couple of trips to Tibet have changed that. now I also give alms to monks (those who decided to devote their lives to helping all beings to reach enlightenment - at least in Tibetan Buddhism tradition) and make donations to monasteries.

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I've only been here a couple weeks, but here's my experience: Initially I gave a rupee or two, but then it began to frustrate me to see so many women hauling around children as props, or training children to put on their best sad faces and beg, or putting on obviously fake bandages to mimic missing limbs.

When I was in Haiti, we'd come across children on the backroads who were obviously mal-nourish (yellowed hair from lack of protein, tummies swollen with worms and lack of nourishment, tiny arms and legs). We almost always gave to them--and they weren't even asking! They were just excited to see Americans walking down their street! These kids aren't like that--they're small, but besides being dirty, seem pretty healthy. Definitely not starving.

I've also seen kids who were just hanging around bored perk up when I walked by and make a game of seeing if they could get anything.

So, I only give to the very obviously handicapped.

I realized at one of those intersections that, from what I've seen quoted on the boards, the beggars make as much or more a day than my auto driver. So, I gave my auto driver an extra 5-10 rupees instead.

I have decided to make eye contact with all of them standing next to me directly, etc. Sometimes it makes them take you at your word more quickly that you aren't going to give anything. Not looking at them certainly doesn't make them any less persistent. In any case, I can't handle just ignoring them. This way, I at least acknowledge them as human. If I find a better way to help, I will--but I wouldn't reinforce such behavior in my own kids or kids on the street in the US, so why would I do it here? They are in a pitiable position, but paying them off to make myself feel better doesn't help.

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If any young begger knocks at your door just ask him to do some work at your home - may be cleaning, etc. for some money.

Most of them will refuse because they want to earn without doing anything!

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The idea of providing food, a snack or a meal seems to be a productive one. I know that I felt quite comfortable giving to a beggars restaurant in ahmedabad.

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I never give to beggars. I'd rather give to a recognised, official charity that works with the poor children.
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