News Karnataka
Saturday, April 01 2023

The boon you seek by giving alms is a bane for beggary!

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A sad and pity feeling engulfs us when a child with torn clothes, shabby dressing comes and says, “Sir/ Mam, I’m hungry, give me some money.” The mellowed hearts give some money and send the child away. This seems to be a prime tool in Child Beggary. We are hardly bothered about what the situation of the child is; where do they come from; what do they do and what happens to them.
Even smart city Mangaluru is not spared from this social problem of child beggary. According to Child Line statistics, there were 40 cases of beggary noted in 2015 and 59 cases from January to September 2016 in Dakshina Kannada.

Similarly,’s Joel during a Mangaluru demonetisation effect survey, found two children who begged for money and after an inspective approach, it was found that the children had a fight among themselves and were asking for money to go home. The children collected money from the street vendors. Though some gave alms with concern, rest chased them away. The children were let off with a caution not to ask for money from any one.

Same children were found after a week near PVS begging for alms, ostensibly for the fulfilment of some religious vows. Then they were handed over to Child Line and were brought under Child welfare Committee (CWC) through which one child was placed for his education and another handed over to its family.

Though the cause of these children to beg seemed to be religious, we find many others who wander through the street begging for alms, leaving school, wandering in the streets, and at the end of the day they have a healthy collection and the generous are left aghast. Often we feel that the children are guilty because they beg. Have we ever looked at ourselves with guilty eyes when we give alms in the name of service and motivate beggary?

We feel giving money gets us blessings but a Chinese quote, “Teach a person to fish, rather than giving one” sounds more apt in this situation. We in our busy schedule have no time even for our family. Where will we find time to speak to these children who beg? Does anyone actually care for these children?

Child Line and Child Welfare Committee work for the welfare of these children. Speaking to, Valencia Child Line Centre Coordinator Yogesh said, “Children are innocent. They sometimes do not know why they have to beg. They are sometimes sent by their parents. Some children do it as a part time job to collect some extra pocket money. We have not seen any hand of beggary mafia in this but the child beggars found in Mangaluru are the ones who have migrated from northern states. We are spreading awareness to contain child beggary in Mangaluru”

Bendoorwell Child Line Centre Coordinator Sampath Katti said, “There are strict rules implemented in 2016 that if a child is caught three times in the beggary case, the child will be kept under the watch of CWC and will be given education and residence by the government.”

“Child beggary is not so prevalent in Mangaluru but those who are found begging, are either sent with their parents or placed in boys’ homes where they continue their education. Some go to daily schools and we have a school in Kapikad where children of all age groups who don’t have the basic education are sent to learn the basics. These children are then taken care of by the government till major,” highlighted CWC Chairperson Nikesh Shetty.

We may feel that by giving alms we invite blessings but we are just promoting beggary. There is no use of giving money until we know the end and means of it. Beggary, started inevitably for some with a purpose to fill the stomach but now it has become a short cut to filling pockets. Let us be more generous, not in giving money to children but by giving food. Let us fill stomachs rather than filling pockets.

The boon you seek by giving alms is a bane for beggary!
The boon you seek by giving alms is a bane for beggary!
The boon you seek by giving alms is a bane for beggary!

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