Begging becomes business in Pakistan, and a serious one. But a kind-hearted always feel sorry for the less fortunate. We are always ready to give the last coin out of our pockets to give help to the needy and leave it as a random act of kindness or good deed.
While the poverty is real, begging is quite often carried out in organized gangs. It has become a big industry and there are men who scour the countryside, looking for young, cute kids to come work for them as beggars in the city. They take them from their families, promising to send back money that the child earns, and essentially act as their ‘pimp’.
The money you put in a child’s outstretched hand is usually going to the adult that is standing off in the shadows nearby and only a fraction of it will go towards the child and his/her family. The majority will by used by the pimp to pad his own pocket. Beggars come in all shapes and sizes, like kids, ladies, boys, girls etc. and they have loads of different methods of pulling at your heart strings in an attempt to get money.
To avoid perpetuating this cycle of begging becoming a business, there are hundreds of NGOs that you can donate to in order to help. If you just can’t bear to say no to the tear-stained cheeks looking up at you, try giving them something of value that cannot be taken away from them. Also, give to those who perform a service, such as small children who often dance or sing, or those that are elderly or crippled. Never give to the women with babies because the babies usually aren’t theirs. They carry them to exploit people.
Beware of the gangs, thieves, beggar mafias etc. Don’t give or interact every beggar you see!