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    Beggars’ swarms exasperate Eid shoppers in Ramazan

    Beggars’ swarms exasperate Eid shoppers in Ramazan

    PESHAWAR: As less than a week is left in Eidul Fitr celebrations, the professional and unprofessional beggars have thronged the city’s markets and shopping arcades to secure maximum alms and charities by adopting irritating techniques, which are annoying Eid shoppers.

    Despite begging has been declared illegal under the country’s laws, the beggars’ influx including male, female, children and persons with disabilities are being witnessed in the jam-packed crossing points, mosques’ gates and mostly frequented public places and food outlets in the city and cantonment areas mostly before Aftar.

    These days, Hashtnagri, Gantagar, Firdus, Nothia, Tehkal, Gulbahar, Faqirabad, Meena Bazaar, Karimpura, Shafi Market, Saddar Road, University Town, City Tower, Jawad Tower and Deans Trade Centre are flooded with beggars.

    They have occupied key points in front of shopping malls, mosques, road signals, bus terminals, railway stations, traffic squares and streets.

    Most professional beggars employ various tricks to exploit human nature and religious sentiments by crying, weeping and chasing people in public places while wearing miserable attire.

    The unchecked trained beggars are pestering Eid shoppers in markets or running after them or behind their cars to collect maximum alms in name of Zakat, Fitrana, Sadqa and Khairat.

    Some beggars roaming with exposed wounds keep on holding and touching customers when they come out of their vehicles, which could expose them to contiguous diseases and viral infections including coronavirus, TB, flue and chest related infections.

    It has been witnessed that some beggars were emotionally blackmailing people by carrying medical prescriptions and disability certificates.

    ‘Alms’ seekers can also be seen in city markets asking for charity in the name of construction of mosques while many beggars were resorting to lame-duck excuses like seeking treatment of their ailing family or lost jobs during COVID-19.

    “Begging has emerged as a major social evil in recent years to the nuisance of Peshawarties,” Riazul Haq, a retired school teacher, who was irritated by beggars during Eid shopping at Qissa Khwani bazaar, told APP.

    Besides bazaars and shopping arcades, he said Eid shoppers were facing great inconvenience at traffic signals, food restaurants, bus terminals, railways stations, mosques, hospitals, markets and public places due to swarms of beggars in Peshawar.

    “It is heartbreaking to see young girls and boys’ beggars carrying wipers in hands often start cleaning cars windows on traffic signals without permission in order to get money.”

    Riaz said some beggars come with water bottles, flowers, garlands, caps and rosary to give an impression that they are selling it, but actually they beg for money without an intention of selling anything.

    Qaiser Khan, a retired Wapda employee and resident of Nowshera said he was busy in Eid shopping along with his family at Shafi Market where a teenage beggar with black colour in hand rushed towards me, asking for money or otherwise his clothes would be made dirty.

    “In order to save my clothes, I immediately offered him Rs80, which was refused. On several requests, the beggar accepted Rs 100 and started running towards other shoppers by using the same technique that was intolerable in a civilized society” he recalled.

    He demanded the KP government to take instantaneous action against swarms of beggars in the city so that people could take a sigh of relief and do Eid shopping with ease.

    Former Additional Advocate General KP, Esa Khan told APP that beggary has been declared illegal under West Pakistan Loitering Ordinance 1958. Unfortunately, he said this law had not been fully implemented, which resulted in an increase of beggars especially during Ramazan.

    He said central and provincial laws such as Control of Narcotics Substance Act 1997, West Pakistan Vagrancy Ordinance 1959, Pakistan Employment of Children Act 1991, KP Child Protection and Welfare Act (KPCPWA) 2010 and KP Orphanage Supervision and Control Act 1976 had been promulgated to check drug addiction and streets begging.

    Similarly, KPCPWA was enacted in 2010 to protect rights of women and children, but it has not been fully implemented on ground, resulting in swarms of beggars in Peshawar.

    Esa Khan said the role of Child Welfare Commission (CWC) was important to provide protection to child beggars in KP.

    He urged the KP Govt to impose a ban on child beggars on the pattern of Sindh province and direct the social welfare department to pick child beggars from markets, roads, traffic signals, streets and rehabilitate them at their welfare centres.

    Underscoring the need for launching special schemes for rehabilitation of beggars, Esa Khan urged people to donate alms and charity to their known poor deserving people and charity to reputable charity organizations having clean service records so that their alms could be used for a noble cause. (APP/fam)


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