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How to tackle the increase in begging during Ramadan?

17 Mar 2024 Giving beggars doesn’t help By OUR CORRESPONDENT

Muscat – With the beginning of Ramadan, the sultanate transforms into a serene haven for reflection and devotion. Prayers call out to the believers, even as the aroma of iftar delicacies fills the air. Families gather to break fast, sharing moments of love and gratitude. However, along with all these, there is also an increase in begging during the holy month, especially around mosques. How can authorities effectively address the rise in begging seen during Ramadan, despite efforts to curb this phenomenon throughout the year? Here’s what Muscat Daily readers said –

Mohammad Balushi

Private sector employee

To effectively address the increase in begging during the month of Ramadan, authorities should implement strict measures, including law enforcement efforts that should be intensified. Dedicated teams can patrol areas prone to begging, enforcing existing regulations and deterring individuals from engaging in this practice.

Yousuf Khan

Businessman

One good idea can be partnering with local religious leaders, community organisations and schools to educate and disseminate information about the negative consequences of supporting beggars. The needy can be helped through charity events and public iftars.

Khalid al Amri

Government employee

Poverty is usually the root cause of begging. Authorities should collaborate with social services and NGOs  to identify individuals in need and provide them with targeted support. This can include access to part time jobs as well. This approach aligns with a long-term strategy that prioritises social welfare over fines and punishment.

Manna Prasad

Private sector employee

I believe we have to be the hope of the hopeless, voice of the voiceless and lend a lending hand during Ramadan. Prayer and help go hand in hand but when we have an opportunity to brighten someone’s life, we should and must. Giving in itself is the greatest prayer we can offer during Ramadan.  I have faith that I won’t go poor by lending a penny to someone in need.  Freely we have received everything that we have from God, therefore we should freely give. We are blessed beyond measure, therefore we are blessed by God to be a blessing to others.

We are not to judge others, as we aren’t aware of their journey, struggles, anxieties and burdens that they carry and because of which they beg. Who wouldn’t love to be independent and stand on their own feet, with their head held high? It’s out of their miserable circumstances that they choose to beg.

Begging stops with us when we get to the core and analyse why they beg. We can stop people from begging on streets only after making a difference or taking a step to make their lives better – giving them means to earn their bread and butter, to choose a livelihood and to refrain from begging. Where law fails, grace sustains. 

This season, make it a point to fast from selfishness and practice selfless service. Let’s first curb our crippling mindset, go that extra mile to love. May this season bring a transformation to our attitudes.

Sayed Murthala Mohamed Muheez

Accountant

Increasing awareness through educational campaigns can help address the issue.

Sami Musallam

Freelancer

Begging can be reduced by criminalising it and establishing centres to care for beggars, meeting their basic needs and protecting them. Authorities can set up a timetable to monitor the movement of beggars daily and take action by referring beggars to the competent departments, especially people who have made begging their profession or led minors to beg.

Beggars can be supported by providing jobs and appropriate vocational training for them to become independent, in addition to financially supporting the disabled and those with special needs to keep them away from begging.

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