Rawalpindi—Professional beggars have swarmed the city roads and markets in the holy month of Ramazan, trying every trick they know to get people’s sympathies.
Beggars are having a roaring business as the police and administration seem reluctant to take any action against them. Nowadays, groups of beggars mostly women and children are seen begging in markets, shopping centers, roads and streets of the city cities. The shopping malls in the town are also amongst the choicest business locations of these beggars. The beggars are witness everywhere in the city and cantonment areas. Several groups of beggars have occupied main traffic signals of the town where one can see a lot of children and women thronging at vehicles asking for alms. The beggars use new techniques to attract people as their sole purpose is to take money from them. Professional beggary is becoming a social menace as more and more beggars including physically fit, healthy and young men, women and children are turning towards this profession. Mosques and other religious places are also amongst the most profitable sources for the professional beggars.
A large number of men, women and children beg regularly at roads and streets from dawn to dusk. Mostly these are very professional and expert beggars.
Though, several drives were launched against professional beggars in the past, but the police and authorities concerned had failed to take a serious and visible action against the professional beggars. The real deserving poor people should be provided maximum institutionalized help during this drive, while the mafias running large groups of professional beggars should be taken to the task. In Rawalpindi, especially on busy places like Raja Bazar, Saddar bazar, Committee Chowk, Mareer Chowk, sixth road chowk, Tench Bhatta, commuters and drivers face irritation on red lights as a large number of beggars seek financial support claiming they are not professional. Beggars sometime also turn nasty towards the customers.