Professional beggars are having a roaring business and thrived on all main thoroughfares of Thal nowadays, showing as if the government has given them a free-hand, reveal a survey conducted by The Nation.

The beggars can be witnessed everywhere, particularly in markets, shopping centres and main roads of the city. Several groups of beggars have occupied main traffic signals where one can see a lot of children and women thronging vehicles, asking for alms. The beggars use new techniques to attract people as their sole purpose is to take money from them. Professional beggary is becoming a social menace as more and more beggars including physically fit, healthy and young men, women and children are turning towards this profession. Mosques and other religious places are also amongst the most lucrative points for the professional beggars.

The shopping malls in the city are also amongst the choicest business locations for them. Several groups of beggars have occupied Kashmir Chowk, Hashmi Chowk, Jharkil Chowk, Tehsil Chowk, Jamali Chowk, Dhamak Chowk and on other main roads where one can see a lot of children and women running towards every passing vehicles.

These tragedies include needing money due to serious illness of self, parents or children, workplace accidents, prolonged joblessness due to one reason or another. They often manage to get sympathy of their listeners with their tragic tales told in tear-filled emotional voice. A large number of women, men and children beg regularly on roads and streets from dawn to dusk.

The departments concerned are appear, somehow, reluctant to take any action against the beggars. A local cleric Maulana Masoodul Hasan says that many beggars become fake pious persons with tall claims of spiritual strength and ability to ensure spiritual healings against psychological abnormality. “Others simply extend their begging hands to every passerby, depicting their poverty ridden distress,” he said.

According to lawyer Raja Ashraf Hayat, unfortunately, the profession of begging is heaving and surging across the country since there is no proper official or administrative check to control the menace.

A citizen Summar Sultan said that professional beggar is considered a blemish on the face of a civilized society. The government should give a serious thought to the issue and launch a massive crackdown against the professional beggars with the help of the police, philanthropists and other social organisations.

According to advocate Malik Mushtaq Borana, presently, the local administration seems unconcerned as the social evil of begging flourishes under its nose.

A senior citizen, Malik Khalid Iqbal Awan said, “like other departments, the concerned officials never heed our calls”, social workers and clerics have been calling upon citizens not to give charity to professional beggars, but many feel satisfaction by giving away charity.

According to social workers Malik Gulzar Hussain and Sheikh Feroze Hussain, citizens are not satisfied with the actions taken by the governmental and non-governmental organizations to curb the curse so far.