• I have been through the same dilemma n no of times. And every times it is confusing & unresolved for me. Sometimes I decide its fine to give and other times I pretend to ignore. In all cases, the guilt remains!

    • Sapna – Just another wake up call

      I so know that feeling Sweety! It is indeed a dilemma. One with strong arguments on both sides. I guess there are no easy answers and each of us needs to find our own solution. Good luck!

  • This is truly an awesome post, more so for me, since I encountered a similar incident to the one you mentioned. From that day onwards, my stand has been very clear, I don’t encourage begging in any form or fashion. While the guilt continues to kill me slowly from the inside, the fact remains that I don’t want to encourage the concept of begging from anybody irrespective of the circumstances. Instead of providing alms, I contribute to charitable organizations which I know for a fact do a lot to alleviate the condition of beggars and street dwellers.

    Good post though…and absolutely loved the way you tied it up with your son’s innocence when it comes to ‘giving’

    • Sapna – Just another wake up call

      I think you’ve found a great solution to the problem Jairam! Contributing to Charitable institutions that attempt to either keep children from begging or help improve the lives of beggars is a good option. I live in a small city and haven’t heard of any. But you’ve just inspired me to go looking more carefully. Maybe there is someone 🙂 Thanks !

  • “Even if the dirt and desperation were an act. The poverty was real. I turned back to see Kabir, looking at me intently. I instantly made a decision. I reached into my purse and handed him some coins. He opened his window and gave them to the girl.” – SO BEAUTIFULLY EXPRESSED. I can almost feel the turmoil in your mind as I read about an issue all of us watch with undecided hands. It’s a lovely post, Sapna, and one that deserves to be widely shared. It may just help others with making up their minds. 🙂

    • Sapna – Just another wake up call

      Thank you Sakshi.You are right. There is in fact a lot of turmoil in my mind regarding this issue. And after I wrote this post I realize I am not alone in this. We do need to debate and discuss this issue more widely. Am glad you liked the post.

  • I have always told my child that it is wrong to beg and they should go to work like we do for coins ( money) . She isnt that old to understand but she repeats this when she sees a beggar. I maybe wrong here . I dont know!

  • I also face this dilemna every time I see a beggar with kids at the traffic signal. That is why I make it a point to keep Glucose biscuits handy. The begging mafia might be more interested in the money. Hopefully they will let the kids eat the biscuits.

  • Very well written Sapna! I don’t think any of us can really decide what is the best way to handle this. Like you, I sometimes give in too. The movie Traffic Signal and some articles opened my eyes to the begging racket. I feel really bad for the kids. What kind of life they live? What future do they have? I have heard that they give opium to the babies so they remain asleep and dull. How unfortunate!

  • Our traffic lights are indeed a hot bed of begging, and you bring the point very effectively. The challenge is exactly to know what the money will be used for. The kids could be part of a racket and giving money may actually harm them more. I still at times give money but never to child beggars. My concept of social empowerment is Micro Finance, please click the link on my name to know more ( Apologies for shameless self promotion here, but I do believe charity is one time but enterprise is long lasting).