Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What's up with the little kids begging?

Twice this week I have been approached by little Omani Kids begging at the supermarket or Mac Donalds. They were between the ages of 7 and 10, and once there was an older kid who looked aout 12 with them. In the US or Europe, this would be reason for Child Protective Services to seize the kids and place them in care. In India and Bangladesh and a million other places, this is sadly commonplace, and part of an economy of exploited children. Here, this is just plain unusual... I don't even know if we have Child Protective Services here.

To say I feel conflicted at the sight of thier outstretched hands is an understatement. I sort of want to take them home and adopt them, feed them, and shower them with love and adoration, or at least give them a bath and something nutritious to eat. Can I just take them home with me? Is that ok? What's the deal?
  • Are they homeless street urchins or orphans upon whom I should take pity?
  • Are they part of a Begging family, and mom and dad are nearby begging too?
  • Are they part of an organised Begging cartel, masterminded by evil adults?
  • Are they Demonstrating commendable entreprenurial Zeal? and Should I help them set up a lemonaide stand?
  • Or what?
Your thoughts would be appreciated.


Anonymous said...

Sub - great post!

this is really becoming an issue

see my post here


Anonymous said...

Well I was told that the ROP advised people who are approached by such beggars to report them immediately to the police because most of them do recieve monthly income (might not be enough but in the end, they do) and in order to soften the hearts of people into giving, they send their kids to beg on their behalf.

Just few weeks back I was shopping at this mall, and an old lady came to me (she pretended to be old as I found out later) begging me, tears welling in her eyes, to give her money because her kids were starved and they've got nothing to eat. I gave her a generous amount yet she asked for more!! she literally fell to her knees and cried while begging telling me she's homeless so I gave her more. On my way out, I saw her walking faster all of a sudden like a young lady, getting inside a cab, I was baffled, I stopped her, I told her how dare she fool me this way, she yelled and yelled at me and asked me to 'shooo'!!! The cab driver told me he picked this lady from her house, and she asked him to drop him in that area because she has some work to do!! Now I hardly believe anything they tell me!

boxster said...

a well dressed man (clean and ironed dishdasha, designer shades) with great english skills stopped by today, apologized profusely, tried to explain that he was a neighbor, locked himself out, his brother is driving from the interior with the spare keys, his father had a stroke a few hours ago, his father's normal doctor of 25 years is traveling with the royal family, and the interim doctor needs payment; all in all asking me for 27 rials.

i said that i didn't know him well enough to lend him money.

one of those days i'll drop by his house (the one supposedly behind the farthest visible from our gates) to check up on his dad.

this is the number to report begging:

Nadia said...

We get lots of this in Salalah, especially on one road famous for expensive abaya and perfume shops. There are a group of Palestinian/Jordanian kids between the ages of 8 and 12 who beg or try to sell you things in the parking lot (and they're aggressive). Their mothers meanwhile are busy begging inside the shops with their babies or whatever. They come up to you in an isle (where the shopkeeper can't see them) and proceed to give you a long sob story about how poor they are (the women are almost always dressed in expensive abayas) and when you say no they become aggressive and start shouting until you're too terrified to walk away or until you go report them to the shopkeeper. Problem is, people in Salalah aren't used to people begging at all. It's so 'not-cool' here because people are supposed to have 'tribes' to support them and big families, so they don't know how to react to beggars, and instead they end up giving money because they're surprised.

L_Oman said...

I used to get really upset when I would see these kids and if I was with Al-Hub, I would look at him with puppy eyes and he would give them a generous amount of cash.

In the past few years, they have become quite aggressive to the point where if I am alone, they will practically jump on my lap as I get into my car. Sometimes they refuse to let me close the car door. Then it ends in me yelling at them.

It's a sad situation.