Begging has become a continuous shame for our country. It is an organized profession and crime practiced on large scale. Everywhere you go you find these professional beggars in large numbers. Our national prestige suffers when beggars accost foreigners giving the impression that we are a nation of beggars. The painful point is that most of these beggars are able bodied and they can easily get work as manual labor but they prefer to beg. They are mostly drug addicts or people who love an easy life. In an Islamic country there is no concept of beggars, as our Zakat could help all deserving poor. There should be funds for widows and orphans.

The beggars on our streets are not deserving and we should refrain from giving them alms. I cannot over look a statement made by Mrs Bilquis Eidhi, she said that until people of Pakistan stop giving alms to theses beggars kidnapping and maiming of children will continue. There are organized criminal gangs who kidnap children from villages and bring them to cities and maim them, as this gets them more alms. Begging has been declared illegal in Pakistan but with a corrupt police force they thrive. Our public should also be educated and informed about how to behave when they see these beggars. We should not hate them or degrade them but we must refrain from supplying them money for drugs or an easy criminal life.

HINA BUTT,

Lahore, August 4.