PESHAWAR: With the start of the holy month of Ramazan, the professional beggars have swarmed the crowded marketplaces to pester the shoppers.
The helplessness of the authorities concerned to prevent the ever-increasing number of beggars from bothering the people has added insult to injury.
“The tally of the professional beggars is on the rise. They thronged the markets before Iftar when the people start doing shopping,” said Abdul Ghaffar Khan, an elderly person at the Fawwara Chowk Peshawar.
“The beggars are everywhere. They chase you wherever you go,” he remarked.
Sharing his experience, he said the beggars, including girls and children, chased customers as soon as they entered the market.
He said: “The people usually give alms to beggars as per own resources and nobody wants to disclose it according to the Islamic injunctions but it is not possible to entertain each and everyone.” The man said the professional beggars chased the common people in front of the milk shops, fruit, vegetable shops, chicken, fish shops, and general stores to seek alms and donations, particularly during this month.
Without giving names, he said one of his relatives provided two dozen nans to an ageing beggar for his family but the same person later came to him and sought roti for his family members.
The professional beggars, he said, deprived deserving people of their rights and it was the responsibility of the authorities to check their movements but it seemed they were helpless.
Though the government made tall claims to eradicate beggary, the professional beggars are trained and they change their modus operandi to avoid facing legal action.
Irshad Ahmad, another customer, said some beggars usually carry combs, facemasks, matches, miswaks and toys to give an impression they were selling these items. The professional beggars have created problems for the people but they don’t say anything.
“We can pray. Only Allah Almighty can help. The people should donate to needy people instead of going into debate and Allah will reward them according to their intentions,” he said.
He added that the authorities have adopted a lenient attitude towards professional beggars in respect of Ramazan.