Today’s Indian Express newspaper has an interesting article in their supplement page. This article, written by a civilian, tells us about her recent visit to Marine Drive in the city of Cochin with her friends. They wanted to take a walk on the sea front walkway and enjoy some cold coffee as they walked. However they were soon surrounded by a gaggle of beggar kids.
As the girls tried handing over a few coins to the kids, it soon became a riot with some kids holding on to the girls’ clothes demanding to drink what they thought was “juice” in the large coffee cups. Soon one kid threw back a Rs.2 coin at the writer as he had seen one other kid getting a Rs.5 coin and he demanded the same! The girls were being assaulted by the begger kids and no one offered to help them. Instead a few men were laughing at their plight!
This incident brought back memories from when I was about 17 and I was on my way to a class on Sunday. This institute was about a 15 minute walk from the bus stop at Ernakulam South Junction. As I made my way, I was approached by 2 begging kids. I handed over Re 1 coins to them and soon was surrounded by atleast 12 of these kids! By mistake I handed over a Rs. 5 coin to one and each was now demanding the same and I was being overwhelmed. It took some deft manouvering and some quick thinking before I could escape.
Having had been in the same situation (although mine was waaay back in 1993) I could sympathize. People and, I hate to this, especially Malayalees like to watch other suffer and then comment about it. Get up off your asses and do something!