Jailed for beg­ging

Fiji Sun - - Comments - Feed­back: jy­otip@fi­jisun.com.fj

Save­naca Vakali­waliwa, Delta, BC, Canada We read that a 51-year-old Lau­toka woman has been jailed for one month for beg­ging for money, while be­ing a re­cip­i­ent of So­cial Wel­fare ben­e­fits. The woman is the first to be jailed in Fiji for beg­ging and I be­lieve she is not the only guilty one around. We have been told that many street beg­gars in Suva are also re­ceiv­ing So­cial Wel­fare ben­e­fits but are beg­ging, be­cause what they are re­ceiv­ing is not enough. A 51-year-old per­son should be able to work un­less he/she has a dis­abil­ity. It does not make sense to send a Fi­jian beg­gar to prison, while our Govern­ment spent a lot of money in the re­cent cel­e­bra­tions for our first ever gold medal in the his­tory of the Olympic Games. It does not make sense that in prison, this 51-year-old beg­gar will be as­signed work like any other pris­oner, but why is this not of­fered to her out­side of prison? We have read about the Min­is­ter who set up a beg­gar to sell veg­eta­bles in the mar­ket, why not of­fer the same to this woman? Come on Women’s reps, where are you? Does this beg­gar have no liv­ing fam­ily or rel­a­tives? I humbly beg the Govern­ment to look into this case, yes it is il­le­gal to beg but to put beg­gars in prison is not the image that we want to por­tray to our Pa­cific Is­land neigh­bours and the world.

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