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Windscreen beggars: Concerted efforts needed to end child begging

Windscreen beggars: Concerted efforts needed to end child begging

Begging by cleaning windscreens of vehicles like cars and jeeps at traffic signals, especially by small children, while the vehicles waiting for the light to turn green, has become a new trend in the holy city during the last few months.

A group of five to six children, carrying water bottles and small wipers, can be spotted at almost all busy traffic intersections in the city. After cleaning the windscreens, these children ask for alms from the drivers.

“This is a new form of begging which has been noticed in the city post Covid-19 pandemic. Earlier, child beggars would ask people to buy pens, balloons or some other toys,” said a resident.

Drivers complained that some of these children are so small that their hands cannot reach the windscreen of large vehicles. Most of the times, these children try to climb atop the side pedestals to reach the windscreens.

“This is risky and should not be allowed. What if a vehicle accidentally runs over a child or a child falls on his own and gets injured?” said Sarita Mehta, a homemaker. She said she usually signals these children to not try to wash the windscreen of her car when she stops at traffic signals. “But they do not pay any heed and hang by the driver’s side of the vehicle,” she complained.

A traffic cop on duty at the Mall Road said, “We have tried again and again, but they do not listen. If a cop walks towards them, they start running. And when he goes back to his post they are again back.” He said high-ups in the police department can find a solution to the problem.

The residents concerned suggested that all these children need to be identified and their parents should be asked to stop the activity. If such children have no one to take care of them or they are forced to begging due to some reasons, it is the duty of the state government to provide shelter and education to these children, suggested a retired college teacher.

©The Tribune

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