Allah kay naam per…..

The cry which is going to grow throughout the city this year during ramzan, as it has every year since i can rememberr. Karachiites are known for being very generous, ready to help (most of) their fellow man in the time of need, be it their neighbours or a random dude on the street. This feeling gets intensified during the month of ramadan when piousness hits them fulltime.

beggar_girl.jpgThis characteristic of karachites is what is then exploited by the thousands of beggars which flock to the city and line the streets every year during the holy month. This year too, we’ll see a rise….

The problem with these beggars is that they’re professionals! And i mean really professionals.. On a typical night, they can earn upto 3 to 10 thousand rupees each, and yet they’re right there, on the road day in and day out. Personally, i dont even feel like giving them anything now, as it is very difficult to figure out which is the deserving and which is the devious. And over the years, they’ve increased a general sense of apathy within me, to such an extent that, five years ago, i couldnt bear to see a beggar go without giving them something, to now when i can easily wave them off, no matter how ‘needy’ they look, and not even think twice about it.

Image Credits: Traveller.org

11 Comments so far

  1. Anathema (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

    last year when the earthquake hit, most people complained of all charities being routed leaving none for here.

    but when it comes to beggars, i have to agree on the issue. i dont give to anyone unless i know them. can we blame ourselves really? all over the place.


  2. Adnan K (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

    I dont know how prevalent the beggar mafia is anymore in Karachi but i remember yrs ago when different groups had their territories marked. I really think some sort of investigative report needs to be done into who is making all this money. Sadly, most of the money that these people beg for goes into the pocket of some mafia head who probably leaves them with a few hundred at the end of the day.

    Certainly begging does not start by choice but we have all probably had our run ins with the so called professionals. I remember this one couple many yrs ago who would always be seen walking really slowly on the streets in the defence and gizri area. it was funny coz it looked like either would collapse any minute. yet they were there walking day in and day out.


  3. Farhan (unregistered) on September 25th, 2006 @ 10:28 pm

    Just check the guy’s hair if his cut than is better than yours then they deserve nothing . I have seen baba’s with well manicured beards and well made Guddi ka khat even better than mine


  4. Prophecy (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 1:25 am

    Someone told me this formula:

    There are three types of “people who ask/ who need:”

    1. Bhikari/Begger: the types who’d throw you any line their professional knowledge knows will affect you. They will say things like, “Give 5 rupees/ money for food. God will give you ______.” They are selling God, marriages, pilgrimage, happiness, etc. Do not buy God from them. Deny them flatly. If you still have a tender heart, know that these liars are earning thousands of rupees per day and are richer than you. In any case, why don’t they just pack up after collecting, say, 100 rupees and go get the food/medicine they were in such dire need of?

    2. Sayil/ The Needy: They may be rich or poor – but these are people who need our charity: monetary, or in kind. They need our time, attention, help, assistance, kindness. They may need to recover from accidents, or may be ill friends who need our time and love. Give them, in fact, we are commanded to give to them FROM OUR SALARIES. Those who wish may read parts of Sura-e-Baqr etc. to know that The Needy have a due part in ALL INCOME we earn, and that’s after Zakat has been given.

    3. The Fakir/ The Fulfilled: People who are beyond need. Whether they are given or not, it matters not to them. However, it is good for the society to be conscious of their needs.

    When ever we give, it is our duty to be aware of where the money is going to. My personal recommendation is to the LISTEN TO THE HEART which tells us exactly what to do. And to give INSTITUTIONAL CHARITY. Let’s build institutions, not permanently needy individuals.


  5. Kashif (unregistered) on September 26th, 2006 @ 9:37 am

    @prophecy: nice categorization.


  6. Sailor (unregistered) on September 28th, 2006 @ 1:34 pm

    @Topic

    What we earn, our muslim brothern have share in it. Zakat, Fitra and Sadqa. Zakat is what we have in excess of our needs. Fitra is due on 1st of Shawal every year before namaz EID UL FITR. Sadqa is 12 months charity in any kind & shape from our prospeirty, without discrimination of our incomes.

    – all over karachi city there exist spots which are known as Booty spots. Which are managed by area police station touts,. Job description money extortion to “PERMIT” Beggers, Grocery Carts, Kabarya Carts, Chanda collectors. They also serve as police informers, as well as informers to Bandits for status of gali, mohalla residents and timings of the residents, type of life style maintained inside the house, house maids are instrumnetal in filtering inside the house information to bandits etc etc, there is a BIG LIST.

    Beggers – look closely hear them attentively, Majority is selling GOD, as if they are send by GOD to collect money in return of getting things done when paid, by GOD.

    Very few are asking, ALLAH KAY NAM PAR, Kuch Sadaq, khaiyrat zakat dai do. (this line always motivated) my elders give, and i learned it from my elders after a reason, ALLAH KAY NAM PAR MANGA HAI NA, TUM ALLAH Kay nam par do, yeah iss ka eman hai kai yeah dhokha day raha hai ya waqyee zaroorat maand hai.

    Anyway – the begger / bhikari shaped up in an industry, 5 top names are involved in this HOOLIGANISM (correct my spelling please) and 5 of those share their catch with the ruling politicians, police stations of the area and on top they challange the breach of territories in a bloody way.

    Spots are sold, places are exchanged, and like govt sell auction the places to collect the TOLL TAX, – Among the 5 top notches of the begger industry Police manage peaceful auction later help take over / exchange of places in return of their share.

    2 of the beneficieries are from current provincial administration of ruling party, who are into BEGGER Placement game since before their party was formed. rest of 3 are from – NWFP, PUNJAB & Interior SINDH. They are not in power these days but well into business since very long, 2 inherited it, one took it over after blood shed.


  7. mansoor (unregistered) on September 28th, 2006 @ 2:30 pm

    sailor: amazing!!! i knew there was a ring to it.. but it was THIS organized.. i didnt know!

    thanks for sharing


  8. Ed.VoK (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 12:51 am

    We had a major robbery in our home in Nov 2001 that coincided with the presence of many valuables at our home in the process of being shifted; alongwith a huge amount of cash taken out from the bank for medication of my terminally sick uncle. He had cancer, and needed expensive medication in a moment-to-moment changing situation. Anyway.

    There were 8+ robbers, and they seemed to know about our movement of assets. I later heard about a kidnapping incident – and we got to hear many of those stories as people shared with us secretly – in which the kidnapped person, a bank manager, pleaded that he didn’t have the ransom money. He was then shown a list of his friends and relatives, and their bank account totals, and told by the kidnappers that friends & family could certainly arrange.

    I also noted a red pentacle (star) that marked our house before the robbery – some homes in our street had it, some didn’t. I made the unfortunate presumption that it was the mark of the sabz sitara or some other population/census related team. Kind of reminds me now of the Alibaba and 40 thieves story, where Marjina the servant-girl had removed such a mark in time… Ah, wishes!

    Our entire street was robbed house by house – we almost had our turn coming. After our tragedy, many more people revealed that they had been keeping secret such tragedies themselves for fear of life. It was a terrible time for us.

    After this, I started an e-paper called Voice of Karachi to create a platform of sensible opinion where solutions were found rather than problems discussed ad nauseam. (A very bad cable connection, university studies, and real-life work took me off the project.)


  9. Ed.VoK (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 12:52 am

    We had a major robbery in our home in Nov 2001 that coincided with the presence of many valuables at our home in the process of being shifted; alongwith a huge amount of cash taken out from the bank for medication of my terminally sick uncle. He had cancer, and needed expensive medication in a moment-to-moment changing situation. Anyway.

    There were 8+ robbers, and they seemed to know about our movement of assets. I later heard about a kidnapping incident – and we got to hear many of those stories as people shared with us secretly – in which the kidnapped person, a bank manager, pleaded that he didn’t have the ransom money. He was then shown a list of his friends and relatives, and their bank account totals, and told by the kidnappers that friends & family could certainly arrange.

    I also noted a red pentacle (star) that marked our house before the robbery – some homes in our street had it, some didn’t. I made the unfortunate presumption that it was the mark of the sabz sitara or some other population/census related team. Kind of reminds me now of the Alibaba and 40 thieves story, where Marjina the servant-girl had removed such a mark in time… Ah, wishes!

    Our entire street was robbed house by house – we almost had our turn coming. After our tragedy, many more people revealed that they had been keeping secret such tragedies themselves for fear of life. It was a terrible time for us.

    After this, I started an e-paper called Voice of Karachi to create a platform of sensible opinion where solutions were found rather than problems discussed ad nauseam. (A very bad cable connection, university studies, and real-life work took me off the project. I hope to revive it.)


  10. Ed.VoK (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 1:00 am

    So. Coming back home. Crime is extremely well-organized, and Sailor’s eye-opening account is less horrid than the extent of reality, horrid as it already is. I would never support any of these professional beggars out of any sense of charity. Rather, a group of friends have set up a tiny NGO that carefully gives out micro loans, and I prefer that arrangement. They monitor the cases.

    Oh BTW that reminds me, my father mentioned that a weeping child entered the mosque today, and begged for help to set up a fruit stall.

    I only recently learnt from my father – who is old and is sharing his life stories that we had so far not heard – that he had once trusted two Bengali lads of 10/11 with micro seed capital in 1972. He miraculously bumped into them several times in the markets of Lahore, and each time the boys had expanded their little trade business. They informed my father later that they would rather not pay him back, but pay it forward, if he allows. With his assent, they did.

    The point is to say: real needy people also exist. We can help them by creating NGO’s etc. and thus create a chain reaction of prosperity.


  11. Sailor (unregistered) on September 29th, 2006 @ 11:50 am

    Guys I can continue and share what is we all need to be CAUTIONED about. Like every megapolis rotten with crime and corruption Karachi is no different.

    We all need to be vigil and act smart & nice to stay alive and be at peace.



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