Begging In IndiaSince ages, children are taught to make donations, help others and do such good deeds. We are given an example of Swami Vivekananda who donated his cloth to a boy who was in need. Coming to the present day, is donating to beggars on road side a good deed?

I have thought about this umpteen number of times. I have also thought about how it would be if free food stalls are installed everywhere, so that nobody suffers from hunger. I have felt many times that people should quench the hunger and third of poor people instead of donating to temples. The rich people should spend a part of the money they spend on their comforts for this cause. Superficially this looks like a good deed. Think about it, is really good? My answer to this question is no. Wondering why?

Here is my thought. People struggle and work hard to get the basic comforts they need. Among this first comes food. Then comes cloth, house and then a list of other luxuries. The first thing a person spends his earnings on is food. The majority of people work and earn to satisfy their hunger. If this requirement is fulfilled, many people, not all, may lose interest in working. Imagine what this ends up with! Many people may start just eating and lazing out without the purpose of earning.

Similarly, when you donate to a beggar, especially children, it will send the following message:

  • One can earn without working.
  • One can survive without hard work.
  • Laziness is not a sin.
  • No need to struggle with science, maths and languages, you can easily earn your living.
  • One can become independent at a very young age, which leads to all bad habits like alcohol, drugs and other wrong habits.

The person receiving alms will lose interest in earning. Not just that, this may encourage other lazy bugs to take to beggary instead of finding a way of earning. Is this good for the society? Definitely not. Hence think before encouraging beggary, especially children who are begging.



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  1. Taking to beggary is fall out of past and present deeds
    Now those looting innocent people presently are going to place themselves in almost similar situation like beggary in their future lives and then will remember their misdeeds as responsible for their miserable life. Therefore help needy people in a healthy way like organise them for quality education on the basis of earning while learning and for their good health and personality development.

  2. Bharat ki greebi kab dur hogi ye samjh mai nhi aata koi esa fresta aayega or bharat ko ek sundr bharat ka roop dega kon hai bo ye to bhagwan ko maloom hai pr aayega jroor

  3. I started reading this post because I have faced the same conundrum when wanting to give to beggars but not knowing if it is a good or bad thing to do. My qualm, though, came from the realization that most of these beggars, especially the children, will not benefit from those funds and that those are often feeding a system of abuse and continued poverty. I completely disagree with you that this is feeding laziness faulting the beggars (all beggars mind you, which is a completely insensitive generalization) in their current need of food and clothing. Millions of people do not have access to education (so “to struggle with science, maths and languages”, is not an option). Millions do not have access to sanitation and health care, which you’ve left out of this completely. Millions do not have the opportunities and options that we take for granted every single day. Millions suffer from disabilities that make conventional work unduly challenging or impossible. At the end of the day, do I give cash to the beggars at every stoplight? No, I rarely do. I give them food when I have it with me. I remember to see that they are all individuals in different circumstances with different stories, and I grant them that respect. And, I vehemently support providing access to education and healthcare to all. Laziness, as I can see, is mainly a sin of the rich kids roaming around this city in their Audis and not the seven year old in rags who is tapping on my window with blood-shot eyes.

    I wrote more about this in my blog on the “Contrasts” of Bombay:

    1. HI,

      First of all thanks for reading my post and posting your views.

      I read your comment and article also. Yes, the laziness, I have personally experienced. I saw that many a times children are begging and their parents or guardians (who ever they are) take money and food from them and using it for their needs like drugs and smoke. Yes, children are really nice and cute, and because of this emotional factor they are encashing it and this is also pushing population in India which is of no use. As they are not doing anything productive and also creating troubles for others.

      Millions of people do not have access to education. Yes, unfortunately it is true to some extent, but there are several NGO’s and govt. schools who are providing it for free and some of them are providing food and other basic amenities also. In my opinion “isn’t it better to monitor and help these things or start these kind of programs which will make them a better person to live life on his own rather than depending on somebody else”.

      Disabilities: If a person is physically challenged, there are govt. reserved seats and also NGO’s who helps them to get a job according to their comfort. Begging is not a solution. Also, many private organisation like in apparel industry, footwear industry, etc. are working towards it, and some of them came up with really good programs like developing a sewing machine which can be operated easily by a person who is physically challenged from legs or a blind operator working in packing department.

      Giving cash or food to children : Well, I am not in favor of these, giving them for free is like encouraging them.

      I saw that one time. A beggar (child) trying to snatch a soft drink bottle from another child who purchased it. I understand that beggar children might be hungry which pushed him to snatch it but the other child was also feeling thirsty that is why he purchased it.

      Another thing is a child beggar is not a beggar by birth, he/she is pushed into this black world by his/her parents because they can get more money and food because of emotional sentiments. And this is also one of the reasons that we are seeing much of child beggars on every red light. Giving alms to them is the major way of encouraging them to bring more children into this. Also for children there are many good orphanages and child rehabilitation centers where they can read, play and get basic amenities. But some do not want to go there or some are not allowed by their guardians and parents who want to live on free money.

      And yes, some groups have started some more programs skills training basically where they can learn and earn both, like certain kinds of embroideries, arts, crafts etc.

  4. Begging is not a good habit to be supported by society.
    Till I offer foods or old cloths to the little children who are forced to beg and the old, poor persons.
    But I have seen whenever I have offered household job, they just avoid the offer and move to the next car to beg.
    It shows the mentality of earning without sweating, and this can not be supported. It is weakening the nation and corrupting our society. We must try to raise our voice against it.
    Thanks Amit for penning on such a valuable and important topic.

  5. Yes, even I have faced a similar predicament whether or not give money to the beggars but i agree, it is no point giving them money which may not even be used for food. In an ideal world, I would hope for education for them.

    1. Yes,

      Most of the part of money goes for buying drugs and other things like that. Instead of begging in Indian scenario,
      we can try to ensure education for them or atleast something like that where they can earn and learn. There are many kind of art and crafts which can be started.

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