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August 17, 2018

Begging on the rise in twin cities despite several police clampdowns


August 17, 2018

Islamabad : Professional begging is flourishing in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad despite repeated clampdowns of police in various areas to curb the menace.

The rising number of the beggars in the two cities is troubling the citizens as while talking to APP they have complained that they face beggars at every step when they go to markets or other public places.

Whenever you leave your home, you will find beggars in the street, on the road and in the market, using different tactics to compel you to give them money. This causes inconvenience, said Nosheen, a resident of Satellite Town, Rawalpindi.

She said there were many individuals, who deserved charity for genuine reasons but still you get confused whether the person you were giving away money really deserved that or not.

A policeman Imran Shah said that in Punjab an anti-beggar squad force had been introduced to deal with begging.

This squad is always available on helpline 15 and people can call to get rid of professional beggars, he said.

"I think our NGOs should come forward to inculcate self-respect in these wayward souls so that they may start earning livelihood in respectable way instead of beseeching for money", he suggested.

Nida Waseem, a housewife and mother of four children said beggars annoyed a lot.

Adeel Shah a general store owner said, I deal with a number of beggars on regular basis and give them eatables at the meal time as I believe we should help them. "You cannot get rid of them easily in public places as most of them are rude and thugs, Saadia Falak, a private school teacher shared her opinion.

Doctor Hania complained, I deal with 5 to 7 beggars daily while travelling from my home to office.

But when the Eid is round the corner their number also increases.

If you don’t fulfill their demands they start cursing you, she said.

Nasreen Kallo, a 45-year-old said that her husband was a drug addict and whatever he earned he spent on drugs.

I have four kids. How will I feed them if I will not beg? she asked.

The rising number of beggars depicts a grave picture of our society. They can be turned into useful citizens.

There are a host of NGOs working on human welfare projects but it is unfortunate they don’t have a proper plan for these beggars, said Munir Ahmed, a journalist. When contacted President Pakistan Habib Malik Orakzai (PHIRO) said NGOs had no plans to improve condition of this segment of society.

Yes, I do agree that we must do something for them.

I will welcome media persons or others to come and sit with us in sorting things out for the betterment of these individuals, he said. Tahira Abdullah, a social activist was of the view that it was the responsibility of the government to address this issue.

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