My tryst with Beggars

Incident 1: The Sin

During my college days, we used to have a lot of construction workers living in the boundary of the college. Their kids used to roam around in the college. As a part of the social club of our college, we had decided to teach these kids. Over the period, the kids got acquainted with us. Many times that these kids used to ask for 2-3 rupees to get a pen or pencil. We never hesitated in giving them the same. One day He had taken a 2 Rs coin. Just an hour after it, I spotted him at the college entrance gate. He went to a Pan shop and got a tobacco packet. I was stunned to realize that Indirectly I have been feeding that tobacco to him.

Then I decided to stick to my family’s principle to feed a beggar/needy to the fullest,  but never give him money.

Incident 2: Feeding the hungry

Next time when I was in Mumbai I saw a kid outside McDonald’s. He was there with his mom. The mother kept asking us to give a burger only for the kid and she doesn’t want anything for herself. Sitting inside the restaurant, I couldn’t take my eyes off the activities of the kid. So finally I gave up, got a burger and gave it to him.

Surprisingly next two times, when I went to that place I again saw the mother and kid there. I was angry by this time and questioned her why she keeps sitting there. She explained it to me that someone offered a burger to the kid and now he is unwilling to eat the normal food prepared. She said it would have been very cheap and easy to prepare food worth a few bucks and feed completely to the kid. But it is almost impossible to feed him with the burgers or anything else which is so costly.

Incident 3: The empathy

By now, I had made up my mind that I shall help in giving something permanent to any beggar or nothing. I thought of giving them something which shall help them in long term.

Unfortunately, I faced a similar situation just 10 days after the McD incident. It was raining heavily that day. I was going in a cab somewhere. The cab took a long time at a signal due to some congestion. I saw two kids selling some items in that rain on a traffic signal. I saw an honest effort to make money there than simply begging. They were wearing just a vest on the top and were fully drenched in the rain. So, I couldn’t resist but offer my umbrella to one of them. He could have accepted but he was indeed a genuine guy. He smilingly told me that it will be better if I buy something from him. If he starts using a raincoat or an umbrella then people who shall be buying from him out of empathy, they too shall not buy.

Incident 4: Finding the best way

Finally one day, outside a mall I again saw a group of kids. They were selling some sketchbooks and the basic elementary books like that of ABCD. This time I thought let me take a book from him but I had no use. Then I thought about it and took a book from him after agreed payment. Immediately I tore down the cover pages of it. I asked the kid did you ever get a chance to read it and he replied with a no. I handed over him the same book and said do read it this time. Now he had no option to sell that again.

An hour after while coming out of the mall, I saw those kids again.  the kids were done with selling all their books and were sitting on the footpath. One was holding the book that I gave them and the other four were sitting with a flower formation around him. I was happy to see this. I thought maybe this is the best thing I could have done –  something which will help them for the future.

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