Sunday, 19 June 2011

English Essay: “Is giving alms to beggars is a social crime or virtue?”

The human civilization is not free from evils. Greed, avarice, jealousy and lust are a few enduring evils in society. However, poverty is greater and more powerful than those evils. Poverty is a curse on the civilization. Though the civilization has come a long way, this social evil still lurks on the surface. Poverty exists in all nations of the world. It has given birth to a particular class in society that is the class of beggars.  In many developing countries like India, beggars are seen begging almost everywhere. Giving alms to beggars is considered a virtue from the perspective of humanity. Is it a virtue or social crime? There is a controversy around it. 

Beggars belong to the most deprived and poorest section of society. Giving some pennies to the deprived is no crime from any angle. This kind practice is called philanthropy. Philanthropy is a manifestation of humanity. But some beggars despite being physically able take up beggary as a means of sustenance. They find begging easier than doing any other work. If they try, they can earn a living by means of physical labor. They become physically inactive and inert by not exercising their arms and limbs in any work. At times, they feel so dejected that lost all hopes to rise from the state of misery. What they need the most is not alms but encouragement and confidence. Many people of different social groups neither prefer giving alms to those beggars not cheer them up with encouraging words. 

We see many old people begging outside the premises of temples and mosques, and at railway stations. Having no one to look after them at old age and no means of livelihood to feed themselves, they unintentionally turn into beggars. Cursed by ill fate and senility, they are unable to do any physical work. So they have no other option than begging to live on somehow. They deserve to be treated with kindness, to be pitied and to be given alms. There are old age homes where old people having a belonging in terms of money or property are taken care of. But there is no room for the old people who have no riches. 

Child beggars are not rare to find here and there in India. It is a pity to see those children begging instead of playing in fields and reading at schools. Most of those ill-fated children are orphans. They have no one to look after them in society. Hunger and starvation drive them to indulge in begging. Many children of school-going age are forced by their poor and jobless parents to beg so that the family can have a handful of food, at least, once a day. Often these children are employed for menial jobs like washing clothes or utensils, cleaning and sweeping floors at stores and shops. But they are often ill treated and exploited by the employers. Even they are deprived of the wages and dismissed from the work. Then, they take up beggary as the only means of survival. The civilized people do not take these harsh facts into account. Most of them consider giving alms to child beggars an unjust do.

There is no end to the debate on “Is giving alms to beggars a virtue or social crime?” it varies from man to man depending on their individual mentality and view.  


Shin Heinzworth said...

Wonderful Essay :)

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