Those 15 seconds, when you’re anxiously waiting for the red signal that is just about to turn green- a small child comes up to your car sticking his face in the window as hard as he can to make himself seen, or holding consumer goods, like tissue packets, biscuits, combs etc. asks you to buy something from him. Sometimes, they run to your front windscreen and start wiping the windscreen with water looking so dirty as if it was an algae habitat. Or sometimes, they just come to you selling their prayers for minimal change. And the ordinary man, thinking that he can do a good deed for the day takes out a shiny 5 rupee coin or a ten rupee note, and hands it over to that child.
Have you ever thought where that money goes? Shocking as the truth always is, the children don’t keep the money for themselves. Shocking as the truth is, generous donations compiled together total upto a minimum of 200-250 rupees every day. Wow! a beggar earning a basic wage. Even my driver earns the same amount, doesn’t it seem stupid that he has to earn it the hard way? But then again, you can’t blame the beggars themselves. There is an underlying truth.
For every street, every intersection, every shrine, public park or any other feasible site for begging, there exists a mafia, that ’employs’ children and sometimes adults to work for them, by begging on the road and submitting them the money at the end of the day. Anything less than the required amount, the beggars are threatened and beaten up for their lack of ‘motivation in their professional career’, anything more, they get to ‘keep the change’ and spend it. Even those destitute and malnourished babies we see women carrying are actually rented from households and used as a tool for sympathy.
Quoting some real life examples:
â€œThe people I worked for made me beg and use drugs. I was addicted to â€˜solutionâ€™,â€ says Ansar, a boy rescued off the streets of Hira Mandi, Lahoreâ€™s red-light area, by the Child Protection and Welfare Bureau set-up in 2004.
â€œThey burned my arm and my stomach with solution, so that I could beg more,â€ he says when inquired about a scar on his arm. The left side of his entire chest is burnt down to his stomach. â€œI went to a doctor in the neighbourhood who took me to a hospital where I had to stay for a month and a half,â€ he adds. Ansar had to give 70-80% of his daily earning to the mafia who employed him.
Another one, Haider from Kasur recalls, â€œI was 10 years old when I ran from home; then Bashir Dare-ala took me, but I ran from home again, but he got hold of me one more time. The gang took money from my family, Rs500 or sometimes Rs1,000, saying they provide for my meals three times a day and give me shoes and clothes.â€
Such is the story for the everyday begging child. The government, silent on this matter. Investigations were ordered in 2004 but got nowhere at all. The public is confused, on whether they should give money to these poor and helpless kids, or not do so in order to stop funding for drug barons and warlords. Steps must be taken to stop the beggary mafia because the number of such mafias becomes out of control of the government.
10 thoughts on “The Beggar Mafia in Pakistan – An Unexplored Truth”
it was really a wonderfull research on beggars mafia who are active specially in our country. i think more than blaming government always we are collectively responsible for the condition of these poor and pathetic people.
if we get decided that we have to change them than the situation would be different. It requires first intention and than a little move with aim and objective.
reaallliiee well done guys .. !! 🙂
its a bitter reality that pakistan is really been influenced by these beggar mafias !!
The panorama regarding the social and human cost as a result of violence is brilliantly represented at Think twice Pakistan.
your website is really very informative. i never knew about blogging before our teacher told us to find an article.. now i really love to read these articles, since they keep me aware of current affairs, our culture and many more.
Thankyou very much sir, your blessings and praise means a lot to us writers, and only encourages us more.
good afforts about this painful metter.
thankyou for the compliments. every citizen has a duty, the ones who follow it will see the change, if not necessarily in the mafia, then in public awareness at least for sure.
“The public is confused, on whether they should give money to these poor and helpless kids, or not do so in order to stop funding for drug barons and warlord”
This is exactly like the problem before world bank when they have to decide whether to give loans and aid to Pakistan.
Very well researched…I like that you took personal interviews of the of the begging kids. it is a good informative article for those who can understand, but i think we are the one who also promote beggary by giving them even one rupee….Moreover there are some other aspect of this mafia as well. The one who took kids and controlled the head growth of the kid to make them (Dolle Shah Ki Chui) is reallt miserable. I don’t think government can do everything or even anything but we can….Take-care of your surrounding, beware of bad people… Report against them and then bravely follow them until they get punished …. Regards