Is begging becoming rampant
Thimphu has been seeing an increasing numbers of beggars over the years. There is no official record maintained with the concerned authorities but observers feel that there is increase in the numbers of beggars especially with children and women.
Bhutan has been branded as a country without beggars. Linda Leaming a famous American author married to our renowned Bhutanese Thanka painter, Phurba Namgay has claimed the same in her book Married to Bhutan.
But now with modernization coming up in Bhutan is slowly seeing an increase nos beggars in the street, But as we take a quick stroll in Norzin Lam we would see beggars of all form and even people clad in robes .
But for some it may be the only source of living and we pity as we glance down and see the poor and old people begging. It display a very bad side our society and makes us feel that as society we have failed miserably somewhere.
“PITY” would be clear in the people’s eye though only few stepped forward and helped.
Is it them or is it us who are so blindfolded that we tend to ignore them? We being a Buddhist it is a sin to watch other people suffer especially the poor old people who beg for their livelihood.
People like Ap Sangay who begs daily gets up early in the morning and starts the day with a cup of tea and returns home by evening as it gets dark and gets difficult for him to see properly.
However in the Buddhist philosophy begging on alms is an accepted norm and Buddha encourage monks to choose this mode of live hood to encourage common people for charity so that they can accumulate merit.
In Bhutan even the able body people has become beggars as it is one of the easiest way of living and not accept kind but demand cash of higher denomination in the form of alms. Beggars are increasing day by day and have become a public nuisance.
Moreover the public opinion on these beggars has to change and people must give alms to the weak, old and destitute. The public should use their discretion to provide alms to the needy and not to anyone who comes begging as they will not bring any merits.
As a Buddhist society the scenario has to change. People who are begging must agreed to perform whatever job they can take and earn a decent living.
As we do not want any extortionist in our street and leave our farm land fallow.