Ramazan Sees Beggars Take Creative Turn
LAHORE: The number of beggars has taken a stark upturn since the start of Ramazan on all major roads in the city demanding charity from commuters in creative ways. Most of them are in the city to earn money during Ramazan ahead of Eid.
As the public is busy either preparing for taraveehs or Iftari, beggars are seen on roads and outside different mosques.
Daily Times has learnt that traffic signals at Shadman, Davis Road, MM Alam Road, Gulberg Main Boulevard, Jail Road, Ichhra, Iqbal Town, Model Town, Kalma Chowk, Ferozepur Road, Johar Town, Walton Road, Mozang, Circular Road, Garhi Shahu, Laksmi Chowk and Chauburji are flooded with beggars as Ramazan is considered the best time of the year to exploit citizens.
“May the Almighty accept your fast and give you more food”; this is the line that a young beggar said to me while I was heading home, said Rehman Sufi on the Ferozepur Road.
“The beggar said I should be a good man and give money to people because they have the right to eat as well and that my fast would be incomplete without giving them money. A person starts to think when you listen to these beggars because they are choosing wise words to seek alms,” he said.
Rehana Sultan, a housewife, said that beggars in the city had set their own minimum ‘alms rate’. They say, with a sympathetic face, that they need at least five or ten rupees, which is funny because beggars cannot be choosers, she said. “I had been shopping for groceries and all the time a group of beggars stayed close to me as they had seen change money in my hand and were expecting that I would distribute it among them. One came up to me and said ‘you will not get poor if you give these few rupees to us, rather your status in heaven would be amplified’. I must say that the beggars in Ramazan have become very creative,” she added.
The number of street beggars in Ramazan is worrisome, as it’s hard to guess that these people wandering around different localities and ring house bells for alms. “It’s hard to know their identity because many are thieves and robbers in guise, which makes my job more difficult,” said a street guard at Muslim Town area, Jamshed Khan.