Nagpur: The nagging menace of kids begging at almost every traffic signal is increasing in the Second Capital and also showing it in poor light. The malnourished, handicapped children and women with infants irritating the passersby at traffic signals for alms is a sickening sight. The vehicle owners also face humiliation and embarrassment as well if alms are not doled out to the stretching hands of kids and women carrying their babies.
In fact, begging on the streets has become a profession. Almost at every stop you are greeted by beggars. They gather around you when you stop at a signal. The most awful thing is that they encourage their children to beg and despite being physically fit.
Interestingly, some beggars sell petty things but the main business is to spread their hands for a one rupee coin or more. The cops managing the traffic at the squares remain spectators as no move is made to shoo away the dirty, half naked kids. It is natural for the vehicle owners to reach out to their wallets and gently drop a coin or two in the beggar’s hands.
As far as authorities in the Police Department, Social Welfare Department and Social Security Department are concerned, nothing tangible is being done to curb the begging nuisance. It will be wrong to assume that begging is an emotional issue. Involving a child in begging is highly profitable given the fact that people are more likely to give money to poor and malnourished children. The ‘investment’ on these children is also less as they are poorly fed, kept in dismal conditions, and they lack the means to protest or rebel.
When Nagpur Today confronted Mushtaq Pathan, the District Child Security Officer in the Women and Child Welfare Department, he feigned helplessness in the matter. “Without the help of the police and Social Security Department, we cannot initiate any action to curb begging by kids. Four children were rescued from the Cotton Market area 15 days ago. Moreover, offences were registered against seven persons including some parents of children a few months back. NMC should launch a campaign for rehabilitation of these kids and their parents. Police should also help in curbing the menace,” Pathan said.