KHANEWAL: Professional begging has become commonplace in Khanewal and its increasing momentum is continuing unchecked in different areas of the city, especially marketplaces and traffic signals.
In recent years, the city has virtually become a breeding ground for especially-trained beggars of all ages. They have occupied spots at major traffic signals and junctions, roaming the streets to ask for alms. Most tell lies to win public sympathy.
A visit to different areas by Express News revealed that beggars ask for alms and convince people into giving them money. It was discovered that the beggars have adopted new ways of begging. In most spots, well-dressed young girls can be seen washing car windscreens in return for money.
They flocked to the city from adjoining areas and villages. They function in small groups to collect charity from different crowded places such as railway and bus stations, mosques, restaurants, offices, hospitals, shops, graveyards, roadside markets and traffic signals.
In most cases, children between the ages of five to 12 years are also being used for begging purposes.
A resident of Jinnah Colony, Akhtar Bhatti said, “Beggars have thronged the city in large numbers. There is no single spot where you will not find beggars.”
He suggested the district administration take measures to end this practice and take legal action against those involved.
Similarly, Rahat Ali, a resident of Changar Mohallah, said, “Islam discourages begging. The authorities should chalk out a permanent solution of the matter.”
He maintained authorities should initiate a crackdown against those who hire these people for begging.
Uzma Ansari, a student and resident of Zahoorabad, said it is discouraging to see young boys and girls asking for alms on the streets.
“It is the responsibility of the government to curb this menace and find a long term solution of the issue.”