Professional beggars are having a roaring business in the holy month of Ramadan, as the police and administration could not eliminate begging particularly professional. City Traffic Police (CTP) claimed to have launched an operation against professional beggars and succeeded to net over 2200 in May especially during Ramadan ul Mubarik.
Now a days, groups of beggars mostly women and children are seen begging in markets, shopping centers, roads and streets of the city.
The shopping malls in the town are also amongst the choicest business locations of these beggars.
It is said that no ordinary beggar could do business at such sought out locations, because they are covertly ‘auctioned’ by corrupt elements in police and other related departments for large sums of money called ‘Bhatta’ (extortion).
The beggars are witnessed everywhere particularly in the town. Several groups of beggars have occupied main traffic signals of the city 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, Lal Kurti, Dhoke Syedan, commuters and drivers face irritation on roads as a large number of beggars seek financial support claiming they are not professional. Beggars sometime also turn nasty towards the customers.—APP