Opinion

Child Beggary: Trouble or Tradition?

Begging is a growing social evil in our society and at any crowded place, whether it is a railway station, bus stop or shopping mall, you can easily spot a bunch of beggars asking for money and it’s become a common sight these days. Begging is neither a profession nor a hobby, situations and poverty forces a man to beg, but there is one factor which shows a horrible picture of our society i.e., child begging. Children who’re supposed to play, study are begging on the streets for their livelihood. For us, child begging is a social evil which must be uprooted and in every part of our country, this situation is common.

Since my workspace at present is in Eastern Uttar Pradesh and I want to present a fact that in this part of the state, child begging is not a new problem and it’s our ignorance if we interpret this just as a social evil. Child begging is a big financial network and we were amazed to know this fact when we started working in this area. Torn clothes, unhygienic look are the tools of these mafias which they use on children for raising money. Providing these children cheap and readily materials of intoxicants, these children have become a business tool for these mafias.

Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal, including the entire eastern Uttar Pradesh, have a large network of mafias who use children for begging, smuggling and sometimes these children also fall prey to child trafficking. This problem is not just social but in a way, it challenges our economic and human rights. This nexus is operating like a white collar business, but investigating further we see darkness like child trafficking, child abuse and involving juveniles in crime.

While working on the ground, I came to know that the Intelligence agencies of our country are also concerned about this problem. Taking advantage of the sympathy of people towards children, these mafias run their business without any hurdle.

Though in recent years, NGOs and police administration have raised their voice against this crime, the startling fact to notice is that mafias have evolved and have changed their modus operandi. Children are not left alone now, instead, they’re being left with his family and when children are with their family, it’s tough to interrogate or counsel them because parents resist when someone else asks questions to their children.

It is immensely difficult to determine the legitimacy of the children because in the lower and oppressed class of the society, marital or extra-marital affairs can’t be proved. It is ironic that children living in a garbage dump have to face difficult conditions like this.

In today’s scenario, there is a challenge to eradicate this problem, the solution is too easy to plan but very difficult to implement. We’ve to take a simple resolution that every time we step out of our home and if we see a child beggar, we won’t give money to him because begging is morally a crime and we won’t oblige any beggar. If every person of this country follows this resolution, we’d eradicate half of the problem by ourselves without any government support. We must understand that every penny we give to a child beggar is of no use to him, but it goes directly to the mafia who uses that money in illegal business and crime.