Anwar Ali Brohi
Every time, when we step out of homes, feasibly we could reach to our destination without encountering with the people so-called beggars. It seems that it has become a part of our daily life to meet these people every time. However, when, we go through the word ‘bagger’, a kind of person comes into our minds, with ragamuffin clothes and shabby appearance, walking barefoot in the streets and the thoroughfares of cities. Simultaneously, it comes as no surprising that the number of these panhandlers is increasing like a wild fire. According to an estimate almost 25% of total population of Pakistan has been fallen prey to this disgraceful profession, which is, however, an appalling fact. In addition to this, these people are included not only disable, handicapped and needy people but also children, men, women, drug addicted and people of all ages. Moreover no any street is observed free of these people and it is also learnt that these people have their own gangs who distribute each area of a city among themselves and do not allow any other bagger to beg there. Moreover, nowadays, the panhandlers are mainly found holding the holy Quran on their chests while begging so as to generate kindness in the hearts of people and get easily paid. Along with this, they wander in every corner of city whether it is hotel , restaurant, shopping mall, hospital, city point or market place; they are scattered everywhere with the holy quran on their chests. There is no doubt that the holy Quran is a source of guidance for believers and we cannot even touch it without proper ablutions. In contrary to this, these vagrants are openly paying disrespect to this pious book and we even don’t pay any heed to this , for being so engaged in doing worldly things.Though we might be foreign to the fact that our Eman has weakened so much owing to our own recklessness. Besides this, a few days ago, an incident happened to me while I was sitting at a small hotel with some of my friends. Suddenly my attention drew towards a boy of nine to eleven years bracket, in rag clothes and barefoot, was walking here and there. For a while I was petrified when I saw the holy Quran in his hands. The boy was asking people one by one for alms, though a few people gave him, but others totally immersed in their gossips, didn’t even try to look at the boy and rose their hands by saying sorry. Indeed, these are destitute people who have badly been victimized by poverty, but taking the holy Quran while begging is what kind of compulsion? It is because they want to kindle generosity in people’s hearts, therefore, they take the holy Quran. Anyway this is not a new story but order of the day and every one of us often observe such kind of incidents and in return we simply neglect them considering it not a part of our business, which is again an omen of our disregard. Apart from there panhandlers, they are some more people who always scam us by calling themselves strangers, albeit in reality they are not. They usually make an excuse that they have lost their wallets and they don’t have fare to return their homes. Ultimately, we become victim of illusions of these people. Despite this is a new and a decent method of begging which helps them to escape from embarrassment. Once we look into this matter carefully we will eventually find ourselves responsible for the emerging of this disrespectful profession , because we have forgotten our culture of giving away Zakaat and charity and have locked our coffers so tightly as if it will always remain with us. For such kind of people Allah almighty says in the holy Quran, “And there are those who hoard up gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah. Announce unto them a painful punishment. ”[Tawabah 34:35] from the above mentioned verse we can imagine the importance of the Zakaat. And we can also comprehend the importance of zakaat from the fact that the word zakaat occurs thirty two times in the Quran along with salaat as well. It should be kept in mind that Zakaat can help us in eradicating poverty and ignoble professions from the environment. Thus authorities concerned are equally responsible for the destitution of these people because the role they have to play has utterly been disregarded. Colossal amount of corruption is done. Day by day the tentacles of corruption are going deeper and deeper and result in the occurring of deplorable professions. In nutshell the government should take some remedial steps to put the situation under thumb. Furthermore, the establishment of almonries and shelter homes is quite an appreciative initiative. However, keeping the majority of the poor in the view, some more almonries and shelter homes should also be built in the areas which are mostly enveloped in poverty so that people should refrain from begging.
(-The writer is a social worker Shikarpur.)