Is Begging at Signals a solvable problem?

A couple of days back, this Hindu article on the increasing number of beggars at the traffic signals set me thinking. Just a day before that article, at Anna Nagar’s round tana signal, I had frantically waved at the disabled young man seeking alms because he did not notice the signal turning green and was in the middle of the road about two vehicles ahead of mine. A few hours after this episode I passed by him again and this time offered him some money and asked him why he was risking his life. He, of course, did not reply and simply moved on once the money had changed hands.

The Hindu article says

Whose responsibility is it to remove beggars from the city roads? This is a question that remains unanswered.

A senior police officer said there was lack of awareness among officials about the handling of beggars.

The police assist the Corporation authorities, whenever they conduct a drive against beggars.

While the police point the finger at the civic body for its failure to effectively check the menace, the civic authorities claim it is the duty of Social Welfare Department to rehabilitate beggars.

A home for beggars was set up at Poonamallee.

Inmates are imparted vocational training depending on their health condition and age. However, an officer said in most of the cases, even after undergoing training, the beggars return to the same road or junction.

What can the police do if rehabilitation measures do not succeed in keeping the beggars away from the roads? If a beggar thinks that he/she can make a better living begging at signals than pursuing a new vocation, why would he/she give up begging? After all, bribing some corrupt traffic policemen is probably what it takes for them to be back.

I am quite clueless even after thinking for a long while. But I get the feeling that if the police department starts making policing a well-paid, attractive career option, maybe policepersons would stop thumbing illegal avenues of income and start focusing on maintaining a hassle-free public life. What do you all of you think?

1 Comment so far

  1. Sankar (unregistered) on July 11th, 2006 @ 10:20 pm

    One option is to not encourage the beggars by not donating any money. If this continues for a while, they will take up the home.

    I just don’t give any money to beggars at signals/temples etc. If you want to donate money, give it to some organizations… atleast by not encouraging the beggars, it will help them as well as the country.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.