TED Conversations

This conversation is closed.

How can I (or anybody) help people begging for money on streets?

I am a college student and want a idea that i can spread among educated people about how they can help people(beggars) and improve their life. We(my team) are thinking of organising a social event with a aim of helping street beggars by making them aware and planning out a solution to tell people how they can contribute.Its going to happen in India.

Share:

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Sep 9 2013: Well, I usually give money to beggars, and sometimes get in conversations with them, which is a good way to learn about them. Most of the ones I've talked to didn't seem that unhappy with the begging life. Maybe your first question to a beggar might be "What do you want out of life, realistically?" "Is it something you feel you can attain, and how might you do so?" But Sonika, have you actually talked to many beggars, if you talked to them you might find out they're not so unhappy, I mean, think of Buddha, he preached against possessions yet was very happy. In other words, before you try to improve their life, make sure they really want it improved.
    • Sep 9 2013: who do not want hygienic food, pure drinking water, education, a safer place than footpath to live, clothes to cover their body?
      And above all these is they too have right to live a better life.Just because those children are born there do not have right to live a life that i am living.
      • thumb
        Sep 9 2013: well, I guess a person who is not ambitious might not want education. Here in the U.S., beggars basically get hygienic food, pure drinking water, and clothes to cover their body. They have to sleep outside, which is a little unsafe, but maybe they don't want to do the work associated with having an apartment.

        Remember, Sonika, different people have different amounts of ambition. Some people are ambitious to have a very high quality of life, others are content with less quality.
        • Sep 9 2013: But I think above all these comes "RIGHT" to live a better life.Its not a person who is not ambitious might not want education But a person who do not have a shelter do not care about being educated or not.For them the first thing is to get all basic needs. Ambition is defined in different areas. May be that some are okay with the less quality of life but a minimum quality is there below which imagining life is difficult for many of us but people are there living it. Having high ambitions is taken as a dangerous thing among them.
      • thumb
        Sep 11 2013: well, in the United States nobody has to beg, Sonika, and there aren't many beggars. Anyone who wants it can have food, shelter, clothing that comes from the government and charities, although it may not be the quality of a rich person it is still quite good. If a person sees someone begging here, perhaps it is because they want money for alcohol or drugs, those are things the government and charities will not give them. So my perspective may be different from yours. But I think it would be good to talk to beggars, in fact I would talk to a lot of them before I go to the trouble of starting an organization, and ask them how they feel about their life, and ask them what change they would want, if any. Have you ever done either of these? This way you'll know if they really want help, and you'll know what kind of help would help them the most.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.