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A societal curse 

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By Aabis Kharal

Begging, out of all the long-standing societal issues, is a particularly intricate and demoralizing problem that has transformed from an unstructured practice to a well-established one worldwide. It is a scourge that afflicts all communities. This demeaning means of making a living often involves being subjected to ridicule and abuse, rather than engaging in honest work or seeking employment.

In countries like Pakistan that are still developing, the incidence of joblessness is increasing at an alarming rate. With widespread poverty and inflation, many people find it easier to resort to begging. This detrimental phenomenon has taken hold of society in Pakistan as a whole.

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) reports that there are between five and twenty-five million beggars in Pakistan, accounting for roughly 2.5 to 11 percent of the population

The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) estimates that there are between five and twenty-five million beggars in Pakistan, making up around 2.5% to 11% of the entire population. Despite the illegality of begging under Pakistani law, it remains a widespread practice.

Those caught begging in Pakistan risk being imprisoned for up to three years, and parents whose children are found to be begging can also be arrested and face the same sentence. Nevertheless, due to poor enforcement of these laws and instances of police corruption, beggary remains widespread and is often facilitated by organized groups.In some cases, individuals are compelled to turn to begging as a result of extreme poverty, inflation, and a lack of employment opportunities. The government’s inability to provide support to those in need has left the poorest members of society vulnerable to exploitation by beggar mafias and traffickers.

In major urban areas across the country, it is estimated that 1.2 million children are living on the streets

Beggars are often viewed as a disturbance on the streets or within certain neighborhoods, which can lead to aggressive reactions from members of the public and contribute to an unpleasant atmosphere. It is important for individuals to show compassion towards beggars by offering monetary or food-based assistance.

However, the government must also take concrete steps to address the issue by enforcing strict regulations and ensuring that the law is rigorously enforced. It is imperative that the police refuse to accept bribes from beggars or organized groups and instead take decisive action to arrest offenders.

It is essential that law enforcement officials do not accept bribes from beggars or organized groups and instead take necessary steps to arrest offenders. Furthermore, relevant authorities should initiate a rehabilitation program aimed at assisting beggars – particularly children – by providing education and other necessary resources.

To ensure that beggars are able to reintegrate into society, it is important that they are provided with employment opportunities and other forms of support. In order to prevent individuals from resorting to begging or engaging in other illegal activities, the government should provide social and welfare assistance to those who are economically disadvantaged, thus enabling them to live with dignity.

The writer is a student of BS Journalism studies at Punjab University and can be reached at:[email protected].

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