I have an awesome solution to begging. Why not hand them cameras and have them follow celebrities like paparazzi? No skill set required except being annoying.

Murtaza Jafri August 10, 2010
Anyone who has visited Pakistan can't help but notice the multitude of beggars. It may sound callous but their constant prodding for money can grow tiring.

Sometimes we acquiesce, sometimes we ignore them and sometimes we have the urge to curse them (we rarely do - this entails lowering the windows of our air conditioned cars and no one wants to waste cool air, its bad for the environment.)

But I think we should be constructive and find a solution. None of the lame, pay the kids to go to school, give hand outs, or make the government give them jobs. Everyone has tried yet it hasn't work. So I have come up with a uniquely awesome solution. (Disclaimer: this is a satirical piece)

Turn the beggars into paparazzi. Yes, I am serious. Think about it. They have all the qualities to be successful great celeb hunting, Diana murdering photographers of lore.

1. They are masters at making people look at them with pity (I'm not sure how God would feel about someone being paid for praying).

2. Inconspicuous....when is the last time you remember what your local beggar wore? Whatever actual color the clothing was is now hidden by dirt and grime, they also have the scary ability to blend in with their surroundings....perfect for stalking a would-be celeb.

3. Completely thick skinned. They don't mind being despised by their bread and butter. The international paparazzi all have one thing in common. Everyone hates them, (well except for publishers and editors). No one wants to associate with them, share a meal with them and want nothing better than to have them out of their daily lives....sound familiar?.

4. When celebs see these dirt poor people with cameras they can't help but feel sorry for them. After all, what celeb would (with cameras present) curse a poor destitute struggling to make ends meet. Traditionally vile paparazzi yes, no one likes them, but the 'beggarazzi', would have their sympathy.

5. They are hungry...for success. (well, in all likelihood they are probably physically hungry too.) At least this way they have an avenue with which to make money and not annoy common folk.

Now I can see why some members of the Bleeding Hearts Club might see this as cruel and exploitative, and the current paparazzi mish mash might feel a little territorial. Fortunately, I have prepared some fairly simple response.
Dear poorly satisfied Bleeding Hearts,

Please explain to me why it's not better for beggars to earn an honest wage, rather than live off the generosity of others.

This way they are able to live with dignity, I'm not saying that they'll be particularly well loved, but it's not like they were adored to start with.

This way they can afford to feed their families and have a realistic dream for a better life, as well as a real future.

Dear Paparazzi,

Digital camera's do all of that composition, light and angle stuff automatically ... Your talents are now technologically antiquated. Even if they didn't your editors care more about the content of the picture rather than quality. If you see a picture of Tiger Woods making out with Jude Law, you are less concerned with the perfection of the shot, rather than the fact that two of world's biggest womanizers are making out. Sorry to bust your ego's about how you are all artists, but, well you're not. Your job is to chase people with cameras and I'll bet that the beggarazzi can do a way better job than you can.

It's a whole new world. Deal with it. However, in case life becomes too tough in the face of the severe competition remember there is always a begging spot open.
Murtaza Jafri A Karachi based banker who writes cultural satire
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.