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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, 00:34   #1
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Default Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Begging at traffic lights is such a rampant phenomenon across the country, that we take it for granted. The negative aspects of the presence of such beggars has been brought home time and again, with these people indulging in snatchings and theft from cars waiting for the lights to change. So much so, that Delhi Traffic Police passed an ordinance some years ago, announcing that motorists and commuters doling out alms to beggars or buying goods from vendors at traffic intersections would be fined. According to the ordinance, "no motorist shall encourage or indulge in any activity detrimental to traffic flow or safety of road users - specifically at traffic signals, road junctions and up to a distance of 100 meters on each approaching arm from the centre of the junction". Violation of this direction is attracted by Rule 22(a) of Rules of the Road Regulations, 1989 (framed under section 118 of the central Motor Vehicles Act - 1988) punishable under sec.177 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 entailing a fine of Rs.100 for first offence and Rs.300 for second or subsequent offences. This ordinance is in force since 6 September 2002, but I have never seen it enforced.

While ensuing smooth flow of traffic is highly desirable, the extent to which this ordinance is socially justified is debatable. Though they were shoo'ed away from the traffic signals (and even from the city) as recently as during the Commonwealth Games in October 2010, the traffic police in Delhi couldn't do away with the beggars and the vendors completely. They continue to remain, and their problems remain.

How do Team-BHP members spread across multiple cities in India view this problem? The poll on this thread seeks your opinion:

(A) Is begging and beggars a menace for us as motorists? Does giving them alms encourage them to indulge in begging even more, and not seek to earn an honest livelihood?

(B) Are beggars unfortunate, and deserve our compassion and support? If they are forced to beg at traffic lights, don't they deserve to be given alms?

(C) Beggars are an issue that does not concern you, and you turn a blind eye to them.

Apart from voting in the poll, please write in detail about your thoughts on this issue.

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 11th March 2011 at 00:39.
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Old 11th March 2011, 00:48   #2
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

This is a serious menace and I am sure everyone will vouch for the same, this leads to theft, accidents and many other nuisance. Added to this, our country image is going down because of the beggars all around (read - Tourist spot, Traffic signals, temples).

My point is very simple; people should earn their living and not live just by begging. Nothing comes for free in this world and no one gets money from doing nothing so why should we encourage these beggars??

Until and unless we stop feeding them money there won’t be any change to this. We need to discourage all people from giving them money; I myself will not encourage this and advise all of my friends from stop giving them money. I guess everyone should stick to the same policy.

unfortunately in a hurry I voted for the wrong one :(
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Old 11th March 2011, 01:00   #3
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

They are a menace and folks who think helping them with money will be a good deed are fully wrong.
Two reasons:
1. Money will invariably end up in the hands of a middleman or some goonda
2. I did read from some books that by giving alms to the so called needy, you dont get good karma, it should also reach the right person. So if you are giving alms to such persons, you dont end up getting good stuff but only bad ones !!!!!
Think about it !
Cheers
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Old 11th March 2011, 01:29   #4
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Quote:
Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
But the problem is, those who teach these beggars how to fish were no teachers or fishermen, they are crooks. I detest them, as well as those who sell those yellow cloths, car dusters (that scratches the car), toys, ear buds and what-not at signals. I literally lose it when the kids start dusting my car with their cloth and ask for money - I feel sorry for them, yes, but I can't see my car scratched in this manner.
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Old 11th March 2011, 01:33   #5
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

We need the cops to take care of this menace. But knowing our desi cops, they will only target people who can make them ha$$y.
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Old 11th March 2011, 06:55   #6
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

It is definitely a menace for motorists. But on the flip side i am also pained to see small children on the roads sometimes risking their lifes. But don't really know how i can help them. Even if we pay them i don't think it is going to change the situation unless some rehabilation is done and the men behind this begging operations are removed.

OT: On a different note i don't see many beggars in Pune. But then traffic lights in Pune are not very efficient and Punekars in general are averse to stopping on the Traffic Lights I hope i do not ruffle some feathers here. But having stayed in Mumbai all my life earlier and after shifting to Pune 4 years back this has been my observation.
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Old 11th March 2011, 08:24   #7
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

None of them are beggars but they are business people if you look in terms of their daily income
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Old 11th March 2011, 09:06   #8
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
None of them are beggars but they are business people if you look in terms of their daily income
Agree with you. When I moved to Bangy in 2001 there were no beggars at signals unlike what I was used to seeing in Mumbai at that time. Then slowly this manace started and I noticed them at the inner ring road old airport road signal. (no flyover at that time).
I also notice and have heard that this is a business where one can hire a baby and beg for a day and distribute the profits to some middlemen.
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Old 11th March 2011, 09:28   #9
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Voted for the option A. It's a big racket aimed at swindling money from the hapless motorists. Even skinny infants and children are available for rent so that those begging 'mothers' carrying the rented infants could get more sympathy and money.
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:10   #10
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Really a menace. If no one, I mean NO ONE, feed them in the signal, then there are every chance that it will turn to mugging.

So, its up to the Govt to take of these guys. Out govt talks about right to education, hope somehow these kids get those education. That is the only solution.

How to make these kids go to school? Thats govt headache. Let them think out of the box and IMPLEMENT!
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:18   #11
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

If you cannot take care of yourself and your future progeny, and add some value to the civilization you don't deserve to create the next generation.

The philosophy: Most beggars believe that its their right to produce more beggars (usually their kids) and it is society's duty to take care of all of them. In the passing they (adults) also stand to get "benefit".

Of course its a menace (this philosophy) to everyone in the society.
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:21   #12
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Absolutely option A

There are plenty of institutions and NGO providing opportunities for these people to earn their wages - It's sad these people take easy way out and ride on people's sympathies.

Not to mention the image being projected for tourists who see wealthy indians and beggars at the same signal.

During my recent vacation to Himachal, which mostly runs on tourism, our car driver mentioned that hoteliers make sure no beggars are seen around their properties/shops and they get full cooperation from the police to remove these people.

Which was that bollywood flick? Traffic Signal? That presents a pretty accurate picture of the whole nexus of 'organized begging'.

Last edited by mmxylorider : 11th March 2011 at 10:23.
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:27   #13
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Wish it were simple to remove the beggars. It's a multi million rupee industry. The amount changing hands is phenomenal.

There's this beggar "chacha" at peddar road signal at cadbury house in bombay. It's rumoured that he owns a flat in a building facing the road and goes there to rest in the afternoon.

The most posh-est areas of bombay have the most beggars: breach candy, warden road, kemps corner, colaba, etc.

Realistically, getting rid of this problem is very difficult and next to impossible atleast in the next couple of decades (going by the current state of our country).

The thing is that if the govt and cops want to, they can do it. Whenever big dignitaries (heads of state) come visiting to the city, these beggar mysteriously vanish for a few days. How did that happen?

A few years ago, a police commissioner implemented a novel rule. Bombay areas are divided into beats which have their own small police chowkies. The CP issued an order that it's the chowkies' responsibility to make sure there are no beggars in that area. Worked well at least in our area for quite a few months. Once the CP got transfered, the situation came back to square one.

Last edited by Tejas@perioimpl : 11th March 2011 at 10:28. Reason: typo
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:28   #14
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
OT: On a different note i don't see many beggars in Pune. But then traffic lights in Pune are not very efficient and Punekars in general are averse to stopping on the Traffic Lights I hope i do not ruffle some feathers here. But having stayed in Mumbai all my life earlier and after shifting to Pune 4 years back this has been my observation.
Agreed 100% on this observation. Beggars crowd around intersections where traffic does stop. Univ circle, Nal stop, Alka Talkies Chowk are few places this side of the town.
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Old 11th March 2011, 10:37   #15
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Default Re: Beggars at Traffic Lights: Your Views on the Issue

The poll is a no brain-er isn't it.

As a kid I was told by my parents never to give alms to the beggars. A person with no self respect doesn't value any help. I am instilling the same in my son.

An incident happened recently at the Banaswadi Signal in Bangalore.

I was waiting for the signal to go green and a girl with a dirty rag starts wiping the bonnet. I ask her not too but she continues. I don't get off the car due to the xenophobic nature of the people in this city. I will be made the culprit instead. So I watch with a sad feeling my car getting those microscopic scratches.

She then comes to my window and begs. I don't even acknowledge her presence. What she does next snaps it for me, the scum bag dusts the dirty rag on my windscreen directly in-front of my view and walks away with a smirk. If I was in a more fair minded city I could have hauled her to the police station. But in Bangalore we need to swallow our pride due to the high level of corruption here. And just to add there was a traffic cop watching this all the while. The cops get the hafta from these beggars I have myself seen them collecting money from transvestite on the ORR, around Bhagini restaurant.
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