If you live in New Delhi, you must be aware of the beggar menace here. They’re just about everywhere, but I feel their most common haunt are the traffic signals. However, the interesting thing to note here is that these beggars don’t just “beg”. They sell. And how!
It’s always amazed me to see how creative these people are. Traffic Signals are actually very good business playgrounds for these people. The innovation they bring in every single day is really mind boggling. From books to newspapers, from balloons to dusters, from paintings to idols, you get everything on the streets. Some of them are even pretty good gymnasts and perform flawlessly on footpaths. If it’s Christmas, they’ll sell Santa caps. If it’s Saturday, they come with a donation can in the name of Lord Shiva. If it’s Valentine’s Day, they sell just about everything from flowers to perfumes to all sorts of gifts. What I think was absolutely the last straw was when I came out from a movie hall after watching Taare Zameen Par, I was greeted by kid beggars carrying drawings that apparently they had ‘made’ themselves. You’ll know how this is relevant if you’ve seen the film, which talks about a dyslexic child who is a gifted artist. But anyway, the point is these guys play on our emotions so well, we almost miss it.
It’s not like they’re handicapped. If only they would put their creative skills to better use... I seriously believe they would make excellent marketing managers. It’s just sad to see all that energy go waste. I don’t pity them. Because they are capable of doing a lot more to sustain themselves.