Thursday, August 5, 2010

The beggar

Yesterday on the way to Child Care House, all traffic came to a complete stop for a few minutes. People took advantage of the moment to cross the road without being hit! A beggar also chose to meander between the vehicles, begging for money. He was truly an unfortunate teenager, having only a stump at one shoulder and the other arm ending at the wrist. A bag for holding any money that was given to him was hanging from his shoulder. He stood right by our open window and said "Auntie, Auntie (a common term of endearment)," over and over in a soft, sad voice. I wanted to help him but had to say "No" and look the other way while he continued to say "Auntie, Auntie." It broke my heart to keep turned away and not give him at least a few rupees but I knew that I couldn't. We had been warned that beggars were likely to have their trafficker close by watching and if we gave money to them, we were really supporting trafficking. The beggar wouldn't get to keep anything.

So the young man was in the awful situation of having to beg for money -- AND he was severely handicapped -- BUT EVEN WORSE than knowing both of those things is the fact that it is common for traffickers to maim their victims so people will feel extra compassion for them and thus be more likely to give them money. He very well may have been born with both arms & both hands but had had them cut off by his trafficker. The hard cold truth of man's inhumanity to his fellow man was staring me right in the face.

Traffic started up again and we drove off. I cried.

1 comment: