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Beggars are found in abundance in India. So, expect to see more than a dozen on a popular Indian road or even outside a luxurious Indian hotel. Given their past experiences and country background, tackling beggars for alms and charities can often become difficult for the non-locals. Unlike the foreigners, the locals have become accustomed to all sorts of begging techniques and can easily pick a genuine needy person out of a host of fake tramps.
The below beggar handling tips comes from local experience and practice and thus, can easily be used to tackle beggars in India effectively.
Avoid Eye Contact:
Begging has become a profession in India and those who do it do it with strategy. Many would make-up fake wounds, cuts and physical ailments. Some would carry charts and even fake medical prescriptions asking for money to buy the medicine. The best way to deal with the countless begging traps is to avoid eye contact and ignore them. Making an eye contact would further trigger a host of lies and claims that can disturb and confuse a non-local.
Time Your Charity:
If you do feel charitable and come across a seemingly homeless person or a genuine beggar, time your charity while outside home. Give money, food or clothes as soon as you get seated in your car. This will save you from hearing streams of demands or other begging tactics.
Avoid Group Giving:
Poverty is common in India and so are beggars. However, there is no way to tell a genuine beggar from a non-genuine one. Reaching out and giving food and clothes to a host of beggars can become very difficult especially if you are doing it yourself. Remember that the beggars can tell how foreign you are on their land and how to manipulate your lack of language and speaking skills. It is best to keep your distance even while giving charity or donations to an Indian beggar. Also, it is wise to give smaller denominations (Rs. 20 – 30) rather than larger notes.
Beggars in India can be a young child and it could be a seemingly pregnant women. It is best to discourage beggary by giving food or candies to children beggars. A more effective way to give charity is to simply contact an established charitable institution in India. This will ensure that your money is going to the deserving and the poor.