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Friday, March 27, 2009

Beggars and beggaring



Sleeping Child Beggar (LIFE Magazine)


(Photo by Sarawakiana)Blind Beggar at a corner of a street in Miri. Please drop a ringgit or two into his tin.

For centuries society has struggled with poverty which rears its head in many different forms. Western societies have different arms to overcome its ugly sides. Today most countries depend on various religious bodies and semi government bodies to help out in order to reduce extreme poverty and beggaring. In a little way these efforts can help to keep beggars off the streets but the issues of real poverty and human bankruptcy cannot be eradicated so easily. On the other hand it has been proven again and again beggaring has been taken advantage of by various illegal syndicates to enrich themselves.

However by putting poverty under wraps and genuine beggars of the streets is not the only solution. Now the poverty strickened have built tent cities and tin sheds. Slums which long have been the symbol of poverty have taken a new publicity via the "Slumdog Millionaire" this year when Bollywood and Hollywood propelled Mumbai slums into world media blitz.

Begging cannot be completely abolished by law or by acts of kindnesses. And I dare say that there will be more and more forms of begging in the future.

Abject poverty is still in our neighbourhood.

And just as a reminder here is a story of the most famous beggar in the Christian world:
There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores. The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's Side. The rich man also died and was buried. In Hell,[3] where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. So he called to him, 'Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.' But Abraham replied, 'Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been fixed, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.' He answered, 'Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my father's house, for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.' Abraham replied, 'They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.' 'No, Father Abraham,' he said, 'but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.' He said to him, 'If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'

– NIV


Have a good day!!

12 memories:

Just a Little Kindness said...

Ah......beggars are not new any where in Asia. If we have the extra cash...just give some. But I really do not trust those who come with photocopies of photos and letters...many of them now in Miri.
I have a soft spot for blind people so I do give. Hope I am right.

justin said...

I often go the Seberkas pasar tani like any other Miri folks on Saturdays.
Have you noticed the disabled man on a roller trolley or whatever you call it?
Sometimes I wish more help can be given to him.

sarawakiana said...

Jalk...A friend of mine used to say that she will only give to orphanages. Another colleague said that governments are already raising a lot of funds for the needy so she will only give to her association projects.
I am sure you are right in giving to the visually impaired! Our world does need more people with good hearts.

sarawakiana said...

Yes Justin I have seen this cheerful man. I often wonder how he became a disabled man like that and how he was never sent to school to help himself!!

It is also important for the disabled to be self supporting and there are so many of them who go around motivating others too.

It is a pity that this guy is still out there on his wooden roller. Have you noticed how he uses the two tins to push himself forward?

bliss said...

Like Justin I go to the Seberkas pasar tani once in a long while to look for some ready cooked food. Never saw the man on the rollers!!

I will give to deserving cases when I see them. There is no harm actually given to those who are in need. My family and I think that it is a good habit. May be we can also give up a good meal or two if we want to give more for some church functions.

Arani Jantok said...

lets just hope that more efforts will be put into helping these people. perhaps a welfare system is more important than building 12 new dams in sarawak.

sarawakiana said...

Oh ho! 12 new dams means "a lot to some people".

Absolutely we need to start a special welfare system. Once the dams are being built we can see the deluge of displaced people in the streets! And then there will be too much for the Welfare Department to do. There will be more single mothers and more unwanted children. There will be more disabled to take care of.

The towns and cities are just beginning to see the growing rural poor migrating to the urban centres.

justin said...

Many of these so called "vagrants" are actually a part of the social history of Miri. As I was a young student in town then I often met and gave money to some of them. There is a "cheerful not so okay in the head" man of Chinese origin always hanging out in the Chinese vegetabbles market. I often wonder whose family he comes from and why he is hanging around like that !!
But it shows that the people of Miri are quite kind just to let him be himself.
May b e it is like what we say apa boleh kita buat????

Free Bird said...

There must be some way to create awareness.

See how easy is it to get a few celebrities to hype up an event like Earth Hour. Turn out the lights, but do a barbecue outside.

Sometimes I can't help but to think that these beggars are actually very rich men, who hang around like they do, and to observe who will inherit his property. What about the smiling sun? I really really suspect he owns the miri boat club!

sarawakiana said...

Justin
It is not often we find a young man like you to think that people in Miri are KIND!! You are doing fine yourself giving where the need is.
In times like ours we need to be selective.
I just want to keep hoping that people are nice and kind in Miri and what a wonderful world we live in!! May be I am a little too idealistic.

sarawakiana said...

Free Bird
Nice comment you have written!!
Smiling Sun is always there and I always keep a look out for him. Sometimes I am so tempted to photograph him.
Yeah I have the same thought too...he might just be the richest man in Miri.

Free Bird said...

He could be from a rich "old family money" family like the american families :p

JKM isn't doing much in West MAlaysia anyway. Check their website. http://www.jkm.gov.my/jkm/index.php?lang=en

You can't even report about a beggar.
We need an authority that we can report the "unfortunates" to. Not because they're pests, because they need help.

 

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