Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The Ignored Beggar Child- Rajinder

It’s a fine Saturday Evening and you’re parking your car in front of the city mall. You have a movie to catch and you hardly find a place to park your car. All of a sudden, you hear a scared knock on your window glass. You see a girl of around 6 with her toddler brother, asking for five rupees. What would be your reaction then? Most of us would just ask them to shoo off and not to knock on the glass again. Some of the generous people would prefer to just ignore them as if they didn’t exist and the knock never happened. There are a very small number of people who would actually ask the girl about the purpose of the knock.
This scene can be seen everyday and everywhere in our day-to-day life. We have learned to ignore these poor beggar kids so well that now it does not even make us feel bad for them. Such kids have become a common feature in our lives, just like the red light at the crossing or the grocery shop in our way. We have forgotten to treat them like living beings. All we have learnt is to just ignore them. I’m not saying it is true for all of us, but it definitely goes for the most of us these days.
In our Chinhat centre, we got to meet one such boy, Rajinder. He, along with his two younger sisters, goes everyday for begging in different areas. He can be seen near prominent shopping malls and multiplexes of the city. The irony is that he doesn’t even know that he should not beg. Since his parents are also into begging, he doesn’t feel that begging is not good. He has seen them begging from the very first day and he doesn’t mind it. He wants to study but he doesn’t want to let go of begging as well. The saddest part is that we also couldn’t stop him from begging as his whole family does it and they have no other source of income at all. The surrounding has put him into so many other bad habits as well, he drinks TADI (Indian local liquor), chews tobacco and has been seen smoking BIDI as well. In the last one year, all we could do was to motivate him to come to our classes regularly and to constantly keep reinforcing that he should not drink or smoke.
Rajinder is not the only such lad in the locality and Chinhat is not the only such locality in the town. There are numerous such kids whose families depend on begging only and who are totally ignored by people like us. I am not saying that we should encourage begging by giving them money. All I need to convey is that these beggars are also kids like ours and they also don’t like to be ignored and more importantly they have done nothing to deserve this.
It is so easy for all of us to pacify our conscience by thinking that we should not encourage kids to beg. The question is that what do we do after that? Do we take any step to improve the condition of the kid in any way? Do we come out of our comfort zones to help these kids live a better life? As a society, is it not our duty to take care of the well being of these kids? These are questions that already have answers. Now is not the time to answer, now is the time to take that first small step to bring about a change.

To listen to Rajinder's full story from him, please click on the link below and watch the full video:
"The Ignored Beggar Child- Rajinder"