Islamabad

Citizens ask authorities concerned to launch crackdown against ‘Beggar mafia’

ISLAMABAD:Citizens from various cities while expressing their utmost concern over a sudden surge in the number of beggars

demanded the authorities concerned to intensify the efforts and conduct raids in different areas and take action against organized professional beggars.

The main purpose of these mafia is to exploit the citizens and loot them financially by any possible means either through begging or by robbing them, said a group of shopkeepers while talking to a private news channel on Sunday.

The number of beggars are being increased with every passing day, adding, hordes of beggars are a common sight at various places such as intersections, traffic signals, hospitals, bus stand, railway station and shopping

malls which need to be address on priority basis.

The concerned department should make sure that there are proper laws in practice to discourage this mafia from tightening its roots in society, said a female pedestrian in local bazaar.

"The only way to discourage them is that people should give money to relevant charity organizations so that money can be utilized properly," suggested another citizen.

A student commented that the people are confused about the actual and the professional beggars as both of them show the same characteristics, adding, professional beggars should be handed over to social institutions and legal action should be taken against the beggars who are involved in any crime.

A city traffic warden also asked that public is requested to discourage such factors as it will not only improve the society.

An elderly resident added that beggars are a source of nuisance for residents, adding, in the absence of any strict action by the authorities they obstruct the movement of vehicles while seeking alms.

Begging should be declared a criminal offense and those who beg despite warnings must be penalized, demanded a motorist.

The begging culture is not as simple as it seems, said a female student, adding, there are criminal clans of organized crime like a mafia in cities.

The beggars can easily be resettled and can be sent to any rehabilitation centers if the administration shows some intent and decides to use its existing available resources, said a social activist Farzana Bari.

Children beggars should be sent to government schools and teachers engaged to teach them in the shelter homes, she added.

The government should come up with a strict laws to ban begging and to start opportunities for beggars to live with dignity, she suggested.