Essay on “Beggary” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations

This is an essay on “Beggary” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary examinations. Beggary is an engagement that falls short of gaining acceptance by the public almost in every society. Beggary is a great socio-economic problem found in many of the underdeveloped countries of the world.  So this is an important topic to write an essay on. Here is an essay  “Beggary” for CSS, PMS, and All Judiciary Examinations.

Essay on “Beggary”

Beggary is a great socio-economic problem found in many of the underdeveloped countries of the world. It is a symptom of personal as well as social disorganization. A beggar in a street at once reminds us of an ill-organized society. The problem of beggary has become a serious challenge to modern society. In Pakistan, although begging is an old profession it has changed its form in the modern period and the problem has become a colossal one.

Beggary is a social problem because the beggars are a burden upon society and are a great menace to public health. It is very presence indicated the failure on the part of the society to provide food and shelter to all the individuals and also its failure to make use of the vast amount of human energy which (at least the able-bodies) beggars are wasting.

Beggary is an economic problem in so far as the larger the number of beggars the greater will be the strain on income. Further, dangerous and harmful is the condition of those who are able-bodied and invite other idlers and vagrants to join them. The beggars being economic parasites contribute to no way to the productive process of the economy.

Beggary is a case of an individual or personal disorganization because, for the beggar himself, begging implies a life of destitution and disease, of disgrace and degradation. It also indicates the failure on the part of the individual to adjust himself to the socio-economic conditions of society and live up to its minimum expectations.

All those who beg are not beggars in the strict sense of the term. A person to be branded as a beggar should satisfy some conditions. Some such conditions are mentioned below:

  1. A beggar is one who lives by soliciting alms in every public place like temples, mosques, hotels, bus stops, market places1, etc
  2. One who wanders from door to door or place to place for begging alms in order to support himself, his family, or dependents, and 
  3. One who is without any visible means of subsistence

It is difficult to give a satisfactory definition of a beggar. Still, it can be said that “A beggar is one who asks for alms or charity or performs such actions which derive sympathy from others and who give something in return”.

“Beggary means begging on roads or on the door to the door standing or entering a dwelling, house or a place of business or otherwise for the maintenance of himself and his dependents”.

Types of Beggars

The types of Beggars are given below:

1. Able-bodied Adult Beggars. Some adult men and women resort to begging either because they are unemployed, or underemployed and have no other sources of money
to support themselves. Some lazy people who are not prepared to work hard are also tempted to become Beggars.

2. Able-bodied Child Beggars. These may include:

  • those child beggars whose parents are incapable of earning by any means;
  •  those who are forced to beg due to family disorganization,
  • those who are kidnapped by some people or organizations and made to earn a living out of begging
  • those coming from some orphanages or such other organizations which compel the inmates to beg due to the paucity of funds.
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3. Hereditary Beggars. Due to the obligations of customs some people beg. They consider begging as their hereditary profession.

4. Sick or Diseased Beggars. These people are suffering from chronic and incurable diseases such as leprosy, venereal diseases, T.B, skin diseases, etc. They very often spread diseases to others.

5. Physically Disabled. These include the blind, deaf. dumb, and crippled.

6. Mentally Retarded. Some beggars are found to be mentally deranged. The Rats of Daula Shah fall in this category.

7. Old and Incapable people also often beg due to incapacity to work and earn a living.

8. Religious Mendicants. Some people beg with religious fervor because they believe that beggary has the sanction of religion

Causes of Beggar

The problem of beggary is not due to the operation of a single cause. It is the outcome of a number of factors. These causes may be analyzed under four heads ( economic, social, biological, and religious.

Economic Causes

Economic causes may be analyzed under three subdivisions:

  1. poverty
  2. lack of employment and/or underemployment, and
  3. begging – a profitable business

1. Poverty

Poverty is the main cause of beggary. It is estimated that even after 60 years of independence about 40% of the people are living below the line of poverty in Pakistan. A large number of people are poor, their per capita income is very less and many of them do not have any access to make money or at least earn their livelihood.

They find it difficult to fulfill their basic needs of food, clothing, and shelter. The non-availability of employment has added to their poverty. Thus having no means to support themselves and their family many people have taken up begging. Still, it cannot be presumed that all those who beg are invariably poor. Because, in Pakistan, people beg not just for money, but for other purposes also.

2. Lack of Employment and/or Under-employment

Unemployment is another cause of beggary. In Pakistan, hundreds of unemployed people are there. The present system of economy has not been able to provide them adequate employment opportunities. Agricultural employment opportunities are very much limited. But due to the increasing population, there is a heavy load on land. Agricultural production is also not enough to feed the growing number of people.

Hence a number of landless people have started moving toward’, towns and cities in search of jobs. The non-agricultural sector also has not been able to absorb all these people. Hence a good number of people have become unemployed. Of these unemployed people, a sizeable number of people have resorted to begging as a last resort. Some of the studies have also revealed that many
laborers have also started begging to supplement their income. It means due to underemployment also people often beg.

3. Beggary as a Profitable Business

In Pakistan, many have made beggary their profession for the easy gains and sufficient income that they get out of it. It has been estimated that on average the Pakistani beggar earns more than four hundred rupees a day. Even an able-bodied agricultural worker on a farm is not getting 300 rupees for his toiling from morning to evening. Thus, some have found begging as an easy and profitable means of getting their daily bread.

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Added to this, there are organizations that train the individuals who are kidnapped, for this purpose.

Social Causes

Among the social causes could be mentioned factors such as family disorganization, lack of parental control, community disorganization, breakdown of the joint family system. and social customs.

3. Family Disorganisation

Family is a nucleus of social structure. It influences most of the activities and behavior patterns of the members. Family disturbances are found to affect the other activities of its members.

2. Lack of Parental Control

Due to very hard living conditions in cities and industrial centers, the poor parents neither show interest nor find time to pay attention to socialize their children in a proper way. Hence the children are left without proper care. Such children often fall as victims to a bad company that goes begging and committing crimes to get food and money.

3. Break-up of Joint Family System

Community Disorganisation and Break-up of Joint Family System. Previously, the result is the helpless people are driven to the profession of begging.

4. Favourable, Social Customs

It has been noted already that tribals beg as a customary obligation. Traditional Pakistanis give alms to the beggars as a  matter of their commitment to customs.

Biological Causes

Among the biological factors favoring beggary, we may include three points sickness, physical or mental defects, and old age.

1. Sickness or Disease

There are some beggars suffering from incurable diseases like leprosy, T.B., Skin diseases, etc., they lead a life of agony and extreme suffering. Since some of their diseases are contagious in nature, they spread their diseases wherever they go.

2. Physical and Mental Deficiency

Physical defects such as blindness, deafness, dumbness, acquired or inherited make persons disabled and helpless. For such people, begging/remains the only resort if they have no other individuals to support them. In the same manner, the mentally deficient. or mad people also resort to begging for they cannot earn a living by themselves.

3. Old Age

The number of old-aged beggars is also quite large in Pakistan. Persons who become physically weak in old age and at the same time have nobody to support become beggars to sustain themselves.

Religious Causes

Religious causes include two points religious mendicancy and indiscriminate almsgiving.

1. Religious Mendicancy

It is not uncommon to find in Pakistan a large number of beggars begging under the garb of a ‘faqir’ or a Pir or any such name. Among them, there may be real religious mendicants or bogus religious mendicants. For them, religious mendicancy is only a means to an end.

2. Indiscriminate Alms-giving

In Pakistan, people give alms to the beggars indiscriminately. They give sometimes because of their religiosity and some other times because of their commitment to customs. It is observed that most of the beggars remain in this profession because of good prospects of income. Further, charities are also given by various temples, mosques, shrines, etc. This charity, religious, or otherwise encourages beggary.

Remedial Measures

The complex problem of beggary has become pervasive in Pakistan. Beggars are found in almost all the corners of Pakistan. The number of people taken to begging has also increased in spite of various development and welfare programs and schemes undertaken by the government. The prevalence of beggary is a black spot on the face of modern civilization. Pakistan which is speedily going ahead in the field of space research cannot remain silent or show its negligence with respect to the problem of beggars.

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The Pakistani public is also slowly showing its concern towards this problem. The problem has to be tackled in some way or the other. Let us now discuss some of the preventive and welfare measures already taken and those that are to be taken to deal effectively with the problem of beggary.

Establishment of Protective homes or Rehabilitation Centers

Mere legislation will not help much in this regard. The problem must be tackled rationally as well as humanistically. It is necessary to set up “protective homes” for the beggars. In fact, almost all states have such protective homes for beggars; but their number and capacity is far less to meet the actual need. Hardly 10% of the beggars are finding shelter in beggar homes now.

Provision of Workhouses

Special attention must be paid to able-bodied adult beggars who could be given some training in different types of industries. Steps should be taken to secure jobs for them to rehabilitate them

permanently.

Separate Houses

There should be separate houses for men and women and for children. There should also be separate homes for disabled and infirm persons. They must be provided wi work according to their capacities. Women beggars may b given instructions in certain skills such as knitting. embroider, tailoring, toy-making, mat and basket making, etc.

Comprehensive Social Securit

Comprehensive Social Security Measures are also necessary to prevent the unemployed youths, the age, and the infirm people, widows, deserted wives, disowned children, unmarried mothers, and such other persons from taking to begging.

Reception Centres

Reception Centres should be set up in each state at certain important centers where the beggars should b kept at first instance. These centers should make necessary arrangements to give appropriate treatment to the begar depending upon their nature.

Counteracting the Influence of Poverty

At the root of beggary is the problem of poverty. Hence proper steps must be taken to remove poverty. This requires the development of the country’s resources. It also demands prior economic planning and its effective implementation, Healthy conditions are to be created in society through various types of developmental schemes so that the poor people are not compelled or tempted to take to begging.

Mobilizing Public Opinion

It is equally necessary to mobilize public opinion against indiscriminate almsgiving through governmental and private efforts. The traditional attitude and outlook of people towards beggars and charity must be changed. They must be made to develop a rationalistic outlook towards the problem.

Scheme to Collect Donation

It is estimated a few years ag9 that on average a beggar in Pakistan gets about Rs.500 a day alms from the public. It means 2 lakh beggars get a total amount of one crore rupees a day. If such a vast amount of money is collected and utilized for the rehabilitation of beggars through some centralized all Pakistan level scheme with governmental sanction the problem could be reduced a great deal within a short time.

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Haamid Khan
Haamid Khan

An excellent work

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