The Indian beggar is very persistent. Wherever we go he is sure to follow us.
We stop to talk to a friend for a minute and he is there. We go to a shop to buy something and he is there too. There is no escape from him. There are two classes of beggars.
First there are those who are strong and able bodied men. They can work as well as anyone of us. But they do not work for their living because they find it easier to live on the charity of others. No alms should be given to such beggars. Then there are those who are old and weak and even disabled.
Such beggars should be pitied and helped. They should be provided with food and clothing. The Indian beggar is an object of pity. He has no means of earning his livelihood. He lives by begging. He goes about quiet naked except for a small lion-cloth.
His body is covered with dirt and ashes. His hair is long and dirty. He never washes his face and hands because he thinks that the dirtier he looks, the more the people will pity him. He carries a begging bowl made of clay. He goes from shop to shop begging for food or money.
There are very few people who receive him well. When he goes to them for alms. They sometimes abuse him, even beat him and turn him out of doors. It is only women who show him some mercy. They think that alms given to poor will bring them blessings in the next life.
Some beggars are really lazy and wicked fellows. They commit thefts at night. Such beggars should be given nothing. They should be caught and punished. They should be made to work for their living like honest people.
Email – pooja97srivstava-at-rediffmail.com