Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why are they sending kids on the streets to be beggars?

The fasting month of Ramadhan has started for Muslims all over the world. It started on 1st August in my country. Sure, in this holy month, we are encouraged to be more charitable and helpful to other people but there was an incident that just happened that put me in my own moral dilemma.

I was filling up my car at a petrol station when I saw a girl with a receipt book standing and walking around approaching people. Asking for donation. I'd seen at the same station a few days before that and I was surprised to still see her there that day.

As expected, she then approached me saying it was for an orphanage. I just grinned uneasily. This is hard for me. Yes, I do feel sorry for her having to walk to strangers asking for money. Yes, Islam teaches us to be charitable to the poor, the needy and to the orphans but at the same time Islam does not teach us to be street beggars. You know what I mean?

It's ok for orphanage or any non-profit body to ask for donation but I think sending out children on the street to beg for money from strangers is NOT the way to go. I believe in 'raising funds' instead of begging. Why can't these kids be taught the right way to make money? By actually working for it? I mean, why can't these orphanages organize a Bake Sale for example or put up a food stall at a Ramadhan bazaar? Let the kids take part in it by taking turns with each other. Or how about getting them to make and sell Eid Cookies through proper channels or even NGOs? This will be more character-building for them instead of walking around as beggars.

I refuse to support any begging activity especially if it involves sending children out on the streets to approach strangers for money. So, I didn't give her anything as much as my inner conscience shooting guilt in the back of my head. I still think begging is wrong. Sending children out to do it is almost equivalent to human trafficking crime to me.
It's hard as I was torn between the issues of Humanitarian, Human Trafficking and my own Moral Dilemma but I chose my stand that day.

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