By USAMA JUNAID KHAN
Increase in Begging Culture due to Covid-19
Plagues and epidemics have ravaged humanity throughout its existence, often changing the course of history and at times, signaling the end of entire civilizations. Covid -19 is one of such great pandemics which is covering several countries and is spreaded from China to all over the world. In this Pandemic outbreak the number of people effected or killed isn’t the big matter to be focused as is the its rate of spreading and how far it has spreaded is important. The novel coronavirus pandemic appeared from China in December, 2019 and within few months it paralyzed every corner of the world. Although the most common and prominent consequences are human loss and economic fallout, yet the monstrous Virus has also severely ravaged socio-cultural set-up especially in developing and diverse societies like Pakistan. The novel pandemic has drastically affected social fabric and institutions besides accumulating in social problems of Pakistan.
Pakistani society like any other society is always dynamic in its very nature ;along with the time and space, it keeps on changing as people adopt new ideas, values and objects. It seeks its continuity and existence according to the conditions and environment of its surroundings. Most notably this transformation is always neutral, rhythmic, and procedural. However, the Covid -19 pandemic has caused unprecedented, and far reaching impacts on the Pakistani society.
The pandemic has struck a double blow for displaced families in countries who were already affected by food insecurities. Lockdowns and travel disruptions have curtailed people’s ability to earn money, while small and medium businesses have lost income and savings are being depleted. Many of the casual workers of villages have no job opportunities for earning incomes. People has started sending their children to beg so that they can at least eat for the sake of life.
The economic situation of Pakistan is already fragile. Incomes have dried up for many Pakistanis who rely on low-paid work to survive. So the most immediate concern for people is to get rid of hunger rather than of not becoming sick. Those Pakistanis who have suffered the most from the economic impact of the outbreak on lives and livelihoods are primarily the country’s daily wage workers and urban slum dwellers. They all are suffering because of having no jobs and no sources of income.
As COVID 19 pandemic has caused many companies around the world to make difficult decisions, many of the workers have been kicked out of jobs in such companies, although this was the only source of their income, Social distancing was taken as the precautionary measure ignoring the people’s real difficulties which they were going to face because of this Pandemic, they were forced to be at their homes, by providing them no money, by which they could meet their basic needs. So because of such ignorant and poor decisions of the company owners or managers people were forced because of their needs to beg from others ignoring their earlier standards.
The mental and physical health’s of people got disturbed because of such pathetic situations caused by COVID 19. Whether its temporary or permanent, unemployment lead to stress, depression, and other mental health challenges.
Every normal wage worker experienced many emotional and troubling thoughts. They in other words experienced loss of identity and sense of purpose. People facing such poor circumstances feel themselves to be lost ones, because they have no idea of what they will do next or what can be good to them in future. They are blank about their lives and fulfillments of their needs. They are also worried that how can they meet their own and their family needs, so when a person will have such thoughts he will prefer to beg when their will be no other chance or possibility of earning in their life, they will ask others to help them so that they could at least survive in such environment.
People who were having trouble on providing their basic needs for themselves or their family needing unemployment help turned to community resources for assistance. So to get help with basic needs such as food and shelter so to survive.
Covid 19 also caused rising anxiety level of many people. This lead to the feelings of dread, sadness and hopelessness. These all feelings made people somewhat eccentric in their thoughts , they started doing things what they don’t understand , they started begging and practicing those works which they never thought to be happened to them, they in other words started depending on others.
The battle against the coronavirus pandemic needs a global response. As coronavirus ravages the globe, its wholly disproportionate impact on poor people is inescapable .Even high income countries with ample resources have failed to seriously reduce poverty rates. So coronavirus has merely lifted the lid off the pre-existing pandemic of poverty. Covid 19 arrived in a world where poverty, extreme inequality and disregard for human life are thriving, and in which legal and economic policies are designed to create and sustain wealth for powerful, but not end poverty.
The Writer is the student of Institute of Communication Studies, PU.Lahore