Forced beggary in Delhi | I see, I feel, I understand but I don’t Act

October 9, 2009
Forced Beggary in Delhi
Forced Beggary in Delhi

Its 10 45 in the night and I am in an Auto Rickshaw waiting for the traffic to move. This semi clad and dusty girl comes up and holds my feet. She has  eyes that could melt the heart of the biggest misanthrope. As my auto rickshaw starts to move she starts running with it expecting some thing from me. Normally I do not entertain such cases. You may feel my soul is rotten to the core. This is what I feel we must do to stop forced child beggary. But I could not stop myself today. The traffic was still bad and she was amidst it, running with the rickshaw holding onto my hands gently. As I reached out to my back pocket for my wallet she extended her hand and I gave her the first note I pulled out. The vehicle was already gathering speed. With my left hand I managed to get this snap as she took the money.

Why do you think will a little girl want to run around at a busy and dangerous traffic signal at 11 O’clock in the night? I know its poverty out there but is it not normal for a kid to be asleep at this time? She did not even say a single word through the entire drama. She was obviously tired with the days routine. And yet she has to continue; till the midnight or perhaps till the traffic dies out. Even the best of call centre workers do not feel like working late night how can a little girl do it on her own. I am not a supporter of  violence but yes I would pay someone to shoot the devil who is behind this. Look at the kid, she wasn’t even able to keep her head straight. She was tired and wanted to sleep.

This is a regular sight in this place. In the day time these kids sell balloons and flowers. They and their families sleep on the pavements in makeshift tents that vanish during the day some how. They wait in their dreams for some rich drunk actor to speed over them in an imported sports car. Finally they will make the headlines, be famous and make some big money for their family to keep mum about the incident. Such is life around me. I see, I feel, I understand but I don’t act. May be I made a mistake giving some money to that girl. She would do it again. But …

1 Comment

  1. Very touching post. I think you should not have given her the money as I agree with you that this will only encourage the child to stay at it. This should be reported to the police too. So that they can take proper action against the culprits who are forcing kid to beg.

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Rooturaj Pattanaik

Technology & Business Consultant with customers across 6 countries. A doting father and loving husband writing about various topics like Technology, Travel, Society, Digital marketing, Investment consulting etc.


I have started a new project called the Indic Dictionary. This will cover popular household words in India and what they are called in various languages. Eventually, I will make this an easy to use app where where people can easily find something like “hing in English” or “Tea Tree Oil in Hindi” or “carrom seeds in Urdu”.
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