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View Poll Results: Beggars at traffic lights are
a menace for us as motorists, and should be banned. 213 83.86%
unfortunate people who deserve our compassion and support. 31 12.20%
an issue that does not concern me. 10 3.94%
Voters: 254. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 11th March 2011, 14:28   #31
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Have we become so high and mighty that we forget the less fortunate around us? Much like our beloved babus running this country, who have shown utter disregard for anyone but themselves?

They are people after all, some of them are there not by choice. Begging is not a choice of lifestyle but a person needs to feed himself and and stay alive somehow.
Living in the streets is a nightmare, A child being tossed around like a fruit bag used to earn a few extra Rupees, then facing harassment everyday, sometimes treated worse than an animal. Fearful of the cops taking away what little (read money) they have.
I don't hate them, I pity them and pity the way things are going.

The beggars need to be rehabilitated, given shelter, 3 square meals a job ? Anyone listening ?

NetfreakBombay
From what I learned most of them are innocent people forced into this. All they want is something to eat. Anything actually. Is that asking for too much?

I'm sorry if I have offended anyone here but calling the cops or just loading them on to trucks and dumping them somewhere else will not solve the problem.

On an unrelated note -
Street dogs in Bangalore hurt, kill and terrorise residents. These rabid dogs have even killed innocent children.
Yet these dogs get soo much protection ? They pose a far greater threat than some poor beggars.
Taken from Times of India front page

Your effort to defend yourself against a stray dog attack — or for that matter any animal— may land you in jail for ‘violent action’.
Animal Welfare Act 2011 | Stray Dog free Bangalore | Stray Dog Menace | Violent Action | General

Last edited by Captain Slow : 11th March 2011 at 14:31.
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Old 11th March 2011, 14:42   #32
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

This is a very tricky case in general. Some of the beggars are genuine and they really do need our support. But the problem is that the genuine ones are lost amongst the thugs who I feel are the ones generally resorting to abusive language and assault. Even though it is very irritating, the hawkers at the signal are much better off. They should not be clubbed into the same beggar group. They are at least trying to make a living and not out right begging!
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Old 11th March 2011, 14:42   #33
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post
NetfreakBombay
From what I learned most of them are innocent people forced into this. All they want is something to eat. Anything actually. Is that asking for too much?
This is a complex problem and varies from city to city.

I volunteer for an NGO and we try to provide alternatives to people on street.

In Mumbai, this is a profession (not always by choice). Beggers get:

1. Salary
2. Food supplied 3 times a day
3. Protection (and unfortunately exploitation by same thugs)

If you offer food to beggars, they would almost always turn it down at signals in Mumbai.

If you want to help, join local efforts to help children escape this cycle. But whatever you do, do not give alms. This just means more hands would be "bought" and put onto streets.

No urchins in Mumbai
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Old 11th March 2011, 14:51   #34
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Ergo you want to discuss the problem of organised begging and poverty and solutions by way of correct charity.

I laud you for that.

But seeing the sentence up there in the poll

"Beggars are a menace for us as motorists, and should be banned." pains me. It is perhaps a complete holiday from all types of human sensitivity.
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:21   #35
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Hi
I used to take pity on the people seeking alms couple of years back and used to hand out money, used toys, used clothes, food etc. But the reality is that these people play on the sentiment of the public to make money. For example a elderly man walked to my car with a small child whose hand was wrapped in crepe bandage which had seen better days soaked with ointment and blood stains. For a inexperienced eyes it would look scary and people would just hand out money seeing the pleading eyes of the elderly man. But its not real and if you offer to take him to the nearest hospital he will move over to another vehicle. But once my daughter sitting next to me saw it and got scared. I had to get down and make a fuss before the traffic constable intervened. Most of the children with dressing on their head and sleeping in roadside pavement are feed various concoctions of medicines such as benzodiazipines, chlorpheniramine, pedichloryl etc. Its extremely harmful if these medicines are taken over a period of time and i have children coming to hospital with withdrawal effects of these medicines. I have stopped encouraging this in any way for the last couple of years. I request all team bhpians to do the same. Cheers
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:21   #36
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Slow View Post

They are people after all, some of them are there not by choice. Begging is not a choice of lifestyle but a person needs to feed himself and and stay alive somehow.
Most of them do it by choice barring a few of them who are victims of organized rackets.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajman28 View Post
Some of the beggars are genuine and they really do need our support.
Very few of them need our support and they will out-rightly deny if you lend them.

There is a mosque near my office where i go for my daily prayers for the last 2 years.I see a woman in her late forties begging near the entrance of the mosque during prayer timings and on the roads between prayers.

I thought of keeping her in my house for house hold chores,but when i asked her indirectly she said that she cannot do house hold chores as she is old and blah-blah.

I came to know from the owner of a nearby restaurant that she earns 400-500 rs/day and deposits the small change in the restaurant 4-5 times and collects the day's total in the evening.

He also said that in the month of Ramzan and on Fridays this figure could go up to 2000/day.

I hope this explains why people do this by choice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post

But seeing the sentence up there in the poll

"Beggars are a menace for us as motorists, and should be banned." pains me. It is perhaps a complete holiday from all types of human sensitivity.
+1 Sam.

This statement seems little inhuman.

Last edited by SILVERWOOD : 11th March 2011 at 15:26.
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:34   #37
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Actually it doesn't concern me as in Thiruvananthapuram i have yet to see a beggar at the lights. Something like a "beggar free city" policy by the corporation,no beggars at sight.
But when i went to Bengaluru and New Delhi was taken aback by how the beggars come and rap on the window glasses and put their hands inside if at all there is an opening.
Also friends have said uneasy tales about transgenders harassing you for money and 'touching' you all around.
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:47   #38
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

I have voted for option 1 - Menace and hence to be banned from our streets.

Beggars may be unfortunate but it doesn't give them right to beg on signal lights /on streets. This creates more jams and inconvinience for people commuting. Also I see lot of them carrying your babbies to ignite our compassion and give them more money. This is a big racket especially in IT hubs like Bangalore. People from outside Bangalore have moved in and started begging on the streets. This will soon blow up into a law and order situation here in Bangalore unless someone takes quick corrective steps.
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:55   #39
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Firstly, from the perspective of any motorists and maybe even pedestrians on road these beggars are truly a menace. They jeopardize the safety of motorists and pedestrians alike, often act like hooligans stealing, snatching, injuring and causing damage. From this view-point they really leave no room for compassion.

Then, if we view them as "businessmen/racketeers" theirs is no case of showing compassion either.

Then again, from real life experiences, you find that most of them are crooks, cheats, frauds and lazy bums. Once you have noticed the same man/woman asking for alms in the name of his/her dead father's funeral for years at various intersections, and people asking money for medicines showing 3 year old prescriptions you will firmly believe that these guys just want to con people and being good at that, neither do they really need "help" nor would the helper get any "blessings" for helping such crooks.

Finally, in big cities, more often than not, you can earn a living (albeit at the bare minimum) if you want to sweat it out. Everyday I see many physically challenged people going to work/at work and I really admire them, if any of them ever asked for help, I would gladly oblige, but they rarely do.

Frankly, i do not see any reason to be compassionate towards these people. I consider them a menace to society and not menaces at traffic signals alone. Similarly, as 99% of these alms-seekers are crooks the genuinely needy 1% gets unnecessarily punished.

Maybe, I'm being harsh and inhumane and I would be asking for a spanking from Human Rights/NGOs for this. As things goes, currently in my state they are the criminal's best friends.
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Old 11th March 2011, 15:59   #40
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Come on Sam. Get real. You've never been harassed by a beggar? And many times the same one who knows that you won't give money but will still harass you?

Most of these are beggars by choice/force & not because they have no other option.

Have you ever tried giving a beggar a packet of biscuits? Try it. Open the packet first and then give it. See their expression. It will be an annoyed look.
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Old 11th March 2011, 16:21   #41
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

I don't mind beggars begging on the traffic signals. Its their life, they can do whatever they please with it.

But it bothers me when they "clean" my already clean car with their dirty cloth and bang on the car's rolled up window glasses. Also they would not miss any opportunity to flick anything lying inside the car, if the windows are open.

They are getting aggressive day by day, and the day is not far when they would start damaging our cars if we refuse to give them alms. We would be sitting ducks inside our cars since we can't fight with these low lives, nor can we complain to the police, who are already getting their share of the earnings.

On an unrelated note, I would like to introduce another type of beggars commonly found near ATMs in Bangalore. They would be a typical family, 2-3 males, 2-3 females, few children and may be a few elderly. They would approach you asking whether you understand Hindi/Marathi. Once they have your attention, they would narrate their sad story about how they were going to Tirupati, when someone cheated them and ran away with all of their luggage and money.

They would claim that they have no money to return to their town, and that they have not eaten in 2 days. But if you offer to take them to an eatery to have something to eat, they would refuse and say that they prefer cash. Who says beggars can't be choosers ?

Rohan
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Old 11th March 2011, 16:25   #42
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Have you ever tried giving a beggar a packet of biscuits? Try it. Open the packet first and then give it. See their expression. It will be an annoyed look.
+1 to that. Couple of times while having a cup of tea at a thela, I offered a beggar the option of eating something in lieu of alms. Nope - money is better!

Has anyone seen beggars in the car park outside arrivals at CSI airport? They want dollars! I am quite certain, someone coming in after a long flight and pestered long enough will part with a dollar bill or two. Easy money!
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Old 11th March 2011, 16:34   #43
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

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Originally Posted by Tejas@perioimpl View Post
Have you ever tried giving a beggar a packet of biscuits? Try it. Open the packet first and then give it. See their expression. It will be an annoyed look.

Those must be the well fed choosy beggars? I have never come across this kind of beggars. Most of them are happy to take whatever I offer them. May it be leftovers or food from the hotel. They just seemed happy with it.
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Old 11th March 2011, 16:36   #44
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On an unrelated note, I would like to introduce another type of beggars commonly found near ATMs in Bangalore. They would be a typical family, 2-3 males, 2-3 females, few children and may be a few elderly.
These are not beggars, they are thugs.

But, constitutionally speaking, begging is a crime in India. Of course, the people begging on the streets probably do not know that, or maybe they do because our law and order machinery must be getting some grease from them. But that make the first statement in the poll choice a bit redundant.
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Old 11th March 2011, 16:41   #45
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

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Has anyone seen beggars in the car park outside arrivals at CSI airport? They want dollars!

Information age beggars.
[Out of topic: Even autos outside Chennai US consulate ask for dollars.]

My policy is simple on this issue: I am sorry for you, but no money for you.

Last edited by dot : 11th March 2011 at 16:43.
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