KARACHI: Everything is changing with time; rich are getting richer, every few days a new restaurant opens its doors in the city, people are moving from two bedrooms’ apartment to a two-story bungalow, people are moving abroad in search of a secure and settled future but what remains the same is the condition of people on the streets begging so that they can feed their young ones at least once a day.
“Why are you taking pictures of us? People don’t like to come near us. That is what they said which made my heart wrench. They think we have some kind of decease and if they will come near us, they will get affected by that decrease,” Little Komal said while setting her dupatta for the picture. Her mother is also a street beggar. They have been doing this since the death of her father. They used to live in a small town in Sindh and came here to Karachi in search of a better future. But who knew that their lives will get ruined here. Her father was a driver but he died after some time and the only breadwinner in the family was gone. And this is how her mother and Komal ended up begging because it’s very difficult to live without money.
Baba Hussain speaking about his life.
“What’s your name sir?”
“My name is Hussain Shah. No one ever asked me my name in my entire life. You’re the first one who did that. People just don’t care about us. We are usually treated like insects on the streets that are crushed under people’s feet.”
Hussain is a 60 years old man who lives with his son on the streets of Gurumandir, Karachi. He has 3 sons, 2 of them live in the same area but refused to keep their father and brother with them because they can’t afford. Younger son of Hussain lives with him on the street. He was shot by a policeman while they were conducting operation in Lyari. Till date he is in a traumatic condition and is unable to understand anything. His father is the only support for his survival.
Rehana, who is a mother of 3 children said, “I have been asking many people to give me some job but everyone refused. They think that since my attire looks unclean, I may spread some kind of disease in them or in their families. But no one understands that if we have the facilities like they do, then why would we stay like this?” Rehana came in Karachi 4 years ago when her husband died and the landlord kicked them out of their house. She came in Karachi to seek some help from his brother but he refused to help her and this is how they ended up living on streets and begging.
Begging is discouraged and is considered completely unethical in our society, but do we really know that under what circumstances they have chosen this as their profession? Do we really know their stories? If no, then who we are to judge? If we can’t give them money, we can at least help them in other ways.
After all of these stories it all came to an end that we as humans are people who have no feelings for the poor. Social work is not what will make us a better person but giving them work might make us a better person or even by educating them could bring in a difference.