Beggars or Con Masters?

Photo Credit: Flickr
Photo Credit: Flickr

Living in Dublin has made me get familiar with the popular phrase from beggars “Can you spare  some change please?” These beggars are always seated at the entrance of virtually every grocery store and automated teller machine (ATM) located at the Dublin city center.

A research carried out by Jahan Zaib Brohi has listed the top 10 richest beggars in the world who own different properties in their various cities. Another article by Luke Andrews with headline: Homeless beggars are making £200-a-DAY: Adventurer and world record holder Ed Stafford reveals what tramps earn and says he put on 11lb while living on the streets for Channel 4 documentary”. This article reveals the living conditions of homeless beggars in some parts of The United Kingdom.

It is interesting to note that most of the beggars listed by Brohi in his article are doing better than 40% of educated people who work in the corporate world. However, begging is not meant to be listed as a profession or job, but most of these beggars are so good at this skill that it can be described as a profession.

As a student in Dublin working and trying to make ends meet, the struggle of whether to give money to a panhandler or just add it to my savings is something I get to deal with each time I walk past a beggar especially when it is believed that most of these beggars are physically okay to carryout menial jobs that could fetch them some euro and also some of them only need the money to purchase drugs.

Begging is not just limited to one country, as it is a fact that every country has people tagged as beggars, panhandlers etc. but it is also true that some countries like India have more beggars than others. Research has shown that Japan and Singapore have the lowest beggars in the world and that is because the people in Japan have a high level of self-pride and as long as they have the manpower to work regardless of their age, they will still hustle to take care of themselves while in Singapore, the country is not the largest but rich enough to sustain her citizens.

Some of these beggars who tend to be homeless and live on the streets end up committing grievous crimes with the guise of begging. This brings us to the question are they really  beggars or con masters?Do these people beg because they are handicapped and really need help? Or it is a case of being laid back and robbing people off their hard earned money? Well here is the answer! Some beggars trick unsuspecting helpers into believing they are disabled or injured and can’t indulge in normal physical activities, by so doing they are able to milk money out of these helpers. While others are truly helpless and need financial support from the public.

There is no doubt that giving is an act of generosity but remember that there are also some con artists out there who deliberately trick people for their selfish gains.

watch below is a video by ABC 10 News which captures the strategy used by a “pregnant beggar”. She drove off in a Mercedes-Benz with a man who appears to be her husband alongside her young son with whom she carries out her begging scheme.