With the advent of second half of Ramazan, an upsurge in the number of beggars roaming in streets can be witnessed everywhere.

The sole reason behind this is that the Muslim community tends to be more generous in Ramazan, especially in its second half, and the beggars try to exploit this. People give charity food especially on Iftar and this thing attracts beggars, besides the poor.

The influx of beggars is usually observed in commercial areas where majority of the people gather for Eid shopping. The beggars usually target these areas because they offer potentially high means of earning.

While talking to some shoppers, it was observed that majority of them was disturbed by this increase as they are continuously asked for money by one beggar or the other. This ignites irritation and people blame the authorities for not controlling the deteriorating situation. But the spirit of the holy month lives on and the charity-giving-enthusiasm is not seen decreasing in the local community.

These beggars are also seen in great number at road junctions and beg from every other car stopping at the red light. When asked by the traffic police why they couldn’t solve this issue, they simply said that it was not their problem and the concerned authorities should take action.

Over the past couple of years there had been run several anti-beggary campaigns but they have not yet yielded the desirable results. The public looks towards the authorities to come up with a solution to this problem but the latter prefer to keep silence.

While interviewing a beggar in Commercial Market of Rawalpindi, an interesting thing popped up; there are beggars who hail from other cities than Rawalpindi and Islamabad but come here during the month of Ramazan because they think it’s more profitable here. The beggar interviewed was originally from Lahore. He told this correspondent that his wife still resides there and he came here looking for his “job”. He says that business in Lahore is affected these days due to the construction of metro train. He said that he sells toys but that does not make his both ends meet so he has to resort to other means.

It was also revealed that some beggars preferred twin cities for begging on the insistence of their relatives who beg here. A woman beggar said that her mother-in-law and cousin beg in the same area. Ideally, a poverty-stricken person would like to share his/her story of pain, as they sit in the corner of the road wailing loudly about their problems and seeking people’s pity but interestingly while interviewing these beggars, it was observed that they were feeling insecure on being asked too many questions.

The eunuchs are also seen begging in the markets. They complain that they have been forced by the society either to opt beggary or prostitution, adding begging seems to be a profitable work during the month of Ramazan.

—The writer Muhammad Anas Khan is a BA-LLB student at LUMS.