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Discussion in 'Travel advice' started by Neve, Feb 10, 2016.

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  1. Neve

    Neve New Member

    How do you deal with beggars in the streets in India? Do you think it is a good idea to give them some money? What do you think?
  2. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    I saw a thread that someone else had started on this topic recently - I can't find it right now - but everyone had mentioned that in India, a lot of beggars work for syndicates. So even if you are giving them money, it's going to the bosses of the syndicates rather than helping the individuals that are out begging.

    Everyone's consensus was that it is better to donate to reputable charities rather than giving directly to beggars on the street.
  3. Andy_Lothbrok

    Andy_Lothbrok New Member

    Exactly what @amelia88 said. You will be paying some syndicate boss most probably. Also, unless you have change in your pocket, you don't really want to get you wallet out and fumble through it in a crowd looking for some cash. I've found the best way is just to ignore them, don't make eye contact and keep walking. It's easier if you are in a group because they wont feel inclined to single someone out and plead or insult you.
  4. xTinx

    xTinx Member

    Since beggars are common where I'm from, I have developed my own way of handling them. I usually bring extra food with me so I can give it to the beggars I meet on the streets. It's a futile effort at times because they seem disappointed. If you think hard on it, they need food more than money (which they may use for something that's not really important). In the event I don't have enough food with me, I give money. That's only if I can't help it.
  5. Ritika Sharma

    Ritika Sharma Member

    In my opinion instead of money give them some food.
  6. amelia88

    amelia88 Active Member

    Good point there about not bringing out your wallet in public either - especially in a crowded place. To me that's just asking to have your belongings stolen and all the more reason to just donate to a charity instead of handing money out to people.

    My other concern would be that if you give money to one person, then you're going to have a ton of people around you super fast, all wanting money - which would be pretty overwhelming in my opinion.
  7. I strongly discourage you from paying any amount of money to beggars. I personally have very strong opinions about it. Many of them are healthy enough to work yet they will resort to begging since the earnings are very high and you do not have to pay any taxes. Also even if you see a handicapped person begging he will mostly be begging for some agent who will take most of his earnings. If you really feel bad for any beggar it's better you feed him with something or take him to restaurant for a treat, especially if he is young. It will appeal to your conscience and you will probably make that beggar's day.
  8. LMackey

    LMackey New Member

    The beggars have agents? What kind of thing is this? Are these beggars forced to work for some thief who takes all their money? What do they get in exchange? Maybe I'm naive but I've never heard of something like this.
  9. JoJo

    JoJo New Member

    Anything for the money LMackey. I've heard the same as the rest of you. Do not give money to the beggars. It will only encourage more to come and beg. Local charities or food would be the best way to go.
  10. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    Don't give them anything. I know that sounds harsh, but what you give them will not help with poverty. If you want to support and help, give to some local school, or better yet, bring with you some school supplies to donate. That will have a much better impact on fixing poverty.
  11. roger1003

    roger1003 New Member

    In my opinion, I would rather ignore them because they might be a part of big mafia. However, if you don't have a stone heart, you may go ahead and help them my either giving money or food.
  12. Steve Dawson

    Steve Dawson Member

    Its hard to ignore them, but its true that the only way you can really help the beggars, is by offering food, or clean water. Often they will only accept money which shows their real level of need. You have to toughen yourself up to it, there are a lot of big criminals behind the begging epidemic and by paying them you are making the problem worse. Offer food, any truly hungry person would gradly take it.
  13. jnorth88

    jnorth88 Active Member

    The big problem is when your group is split on the matter. I travel with some very empathetic people, which can make things difficult at times. I understand the need to want to help, but I do not go on vacations to do charity work. I don't travel for business to read to orphans. I want a better, brighter world for everyone in it, but some people will literally work themselves to death to help every person they come across. And, when beggars have found one person in your group to target, they will not give up. I have seen my SIL be targeted for money by the same people for days every time we left the hotel, and each time she gave some to them. She was not helping the situation.
  14. knitmehere

    knitmehere Member

    In any country with beggars, even here, I find it easier just to offer to buy them a meal. If they won't accept that, then they aren't bad off enough to be getting my money.
  15. integrity101

    integrity101 Member

    In a majority of cases giving money to beggars only encourages the prevalence of a vice. What you see as a needy case is actually a rich syndicate run by merciless goons who have even been known to cut off children's arms and legs to create beggars. It's best not to give money and hope the industry will eventually die off.
  16. rajesh

    rajesh Member

    I actually give them money instead of some objects or foods. With money, they can go and buy anything they need. I am kinda kind-hearted person and my heart won't be satisfied if any beggar requests for money and I am not able to provide him. Well, that's what my thought is.
  17. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    There seems to be a mixture of opinion on this, but I have to say that I agree with not giving then money and if possible even try and ignore them.

    That's not me being cold hearted, but at the end of the day, if you are seen to be giving money to one beggar, then they'll all be coming to you and I'd feel even worse giving to one and not another.
  18. GammaRay

    GammaRay Member

    If you're feeling generous or charitable it;s best you donate to a hospital, church or a needy home instead of giving money to beggars. Alternatively instead of giving money you can give food because atleast you know they might eat it. If you give them money you don't really know where it goes.
  19. CaptainOblivious

    CaptainOblivious New Member

    Begging in India has unfortunately become an organized sector. Earlier, I'd always give something to a beggar when I saw one, but now, I prefer to avoid giving anything, as I know they won't get any of it eventually.
  20. Destiny

    Destiny Member

    It's generally recommended by many travel agencies that you do not give beggars money... It may be sad esoecially when it's children but they're usually working for someone and don't even get to keep the money for themselves.
  21. Maja

    Maja Member

    It has always been my practice to give food instead of money to beggars. Sadly, it's true that they are being used my crime syndicates to extort money from people. They play on people's goodness and willingness to help. But of course, we can't distinguish the ones handled by the crooks from the ones that really need help. So it would be better just to give them food.
  22. djordjem87

    djordjem87 Member

    I love to help people. I think we should all do it but not like this. In this way we are encouraging our piece of sh** governments not to deal with this issue. They will buy alcohol from the money I give them, cigarettes ... Or whatever. They are the responsibility of government not of people who pay taxes. I was living on Malta for almost two years and I haven't seen one beggar that was a Maltese citizen. I saw an African man with his feet cut in half but he was the only one and he was off the streets very quickly.
  23. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Whoever is responsible for the beggars is the bigger story, and usually the blame falls on the head of the government in the genuine cases like you say.

    These days though there are a lot of people who have chosen to beg as a way of life, and these are the ones you need to be wary of as they are just scam artist's trying to con you into making you feel sorry for them.
  24. OursIsTheFury

    OursIsTheFury Member

    To be perfectly honest, most beggars (not just in India) are known to prey on tourists for a quick and easy payout. A lot of the beggars you see while traveling have a tendency to pick your pockets while you are not looking, some would extort money from you, while some would even straight up and rob you for your valuables. Be careful around them, and make sure to not let your guard down under any circumstances. It is better to be safe than sorry, and I'm sure they would be able to understand your caution when you explain it to them.
  25. pwarbi

    pwarbi Active Member

    Beggars and pickpockets while can be the same people, I've always found that there's two distinct categories. The pickpockets will take your money by deceit and you won't even know it's gone till you go to pay for something, but the beggars try and take your money in a more upfront way.

    The beggars will try to play on your conscience and trick you into actually handing the money over rather than them having to take it.
  26. Admin

    Admin Administrator Staff Member

    The best way to deal with beggars is to "ignore" them. You are not really helping them by giving them a bit of money, you are creating a menace for other tourists. No one can die of hunger in any of the big cities in India. There are hundreds of Sikh gurdwaras (Sikh temples) where food is served free of cost round the clock and whoever goes there is treated with respect no matter what you look like or what you are wearing, how rich or poor you are and food is very nutritious as well. There is no restriction on how much you eat, eat as much as you can/want and keep returning three times a day every day and no one would say a word or make you feel unwelcome.

    Next time you see a beggar in India please remember the above :)
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