|Should Travelers Confronted by Young Beggars Give Them Money?|
|News Releases - Travel & Tourism|
|Written by Richard Martin|
|Thursday, 30 January 2014 15:01|
Child Advocate from Pakistan says, ‘No!’
Anyone who’s taken a Caribbean cruise or visited one of the world’s less affluent countries has been approached – sometimes even mobbed – by children begging for money. Many are dirty and obviously hungry. Some are disabled and/or disfigured.
It’s hard to resist dropping a few coins into their small hands, but Pakistan native and child advocate Zulfiqar Rashid says we must.
“Crime rings around the world traffic in children for use as beggars, and they will starve or maim the children to elicit more sympathy – and money,” says Rashid, who writes about a particularly cruel form of this in “The Rat-boys of Karalabad,” (www.zulfiqarrashid.com). The title refers to children in Indo Asian countries whose heads are tightly bound when they’re very young resulting in stunted brains and terrible disfigurement. The children are then put to work as beggars.
“When you give money to child beggars, it may well help fund the perpetuation of this industry – more kidnappings, more children starved and maimed,” says Rashid. “Even if the children are not working for mafia types, giving them money or gifts gives them incentive to stay on the streets instead of going to school, which is the only way out of poverty.”
Instead, consider helping those children with a gift that can truly save their lives through one of these charities. Each has a four-star rating – the highest possible – from Charity Navigator, a non-profit that provides objective evaluations of charities:
About Zulfiqar RashidZulfiqar Rashid was born in Pakistan and now resides in southern California. As a regular contributor to various newspapers, Rashid has written extensively, recounting his travels to Pakistan, and about major figures in the Pakistani artistic and cultural scene. Rashid is also an accomplished artist and calligrapher, whose art has been featured in the San Diego Union Tribune. His works have been exhibited at galleries in San Diego, Del Mar, and La Jolla, as well as the San Diego Art Institute and the San Diego Port Authority’s “I Madonnari” festival.
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