This encounter is one thing I think I cannot forget ever in my life. This happened almost 2 years back but when I look back I feel that it happened just yesterday. I recently saw this video which made me write this small experience of mine.
I was at Mahatma Gandhi Bus Station, Hyderabad. I went to give send off to my sister. We were waiting for her bus to arrive on the platform.
We were having small talks about “what’s next?, Job? Business, Future plans” etc, as we were talking I saw a woman approaching us carrying a baby with her.
She looked as if she was in her mid 20’s, her clothes were a bit shabby. She came to us and told us that she was a resident of Vijayawada and that she came to Hyderabad for a check up for her child. She told us that all the money she brought with her were spent for a checkup and now she is short of 100 rupees to reach home. She asked us to help her with some amount and she promised she will refund that money as soon as she reaches her place. After listening to her, the first thing that came to my mind is that if I am in such a situation what will I be doing? I will either call my family members to send some money or go to the nearby police station for help. I wondered then why this woman is approaching passersby for help? After some thought, I told her that I don’t have money and I cannot help her. I asked her to leave. She stood there for about 2 minutes or so and I heard her utter these words” Will you die if you give some money?” I was taken aback by her sudden change of emotion and before I could react she fled from the place. I couldn’t help but think about the incident for the whole day and felt guilty. I Thought I was harsh wth the woman. But I felt that trusting my gut instinct was good and thinking thus I put my guiltiness at bay.
After a few days, I happened to be in the same bus stand in the same platform but this time I was boarding the bus. As usual I was waiting for my bus to arrive and the same woman approached me asking for money with the same lame reason that she came to Hyderabad for her child’s checkup and short of money for return journey. Recognizing her I asked her if she still couldn’t collect money to go home for two months? She had a surprising look on her face and pretended that she didn’t hear any of it and when I tried to confront she tried to give me a slip. I said I would give her the whole charges and, in fact, accompany her to the bus she has to board. She politely refused that offer and said “sir please just give me the money I don’t want to trouble you much.” I repi=lied that it was not a problem at all and asked her to accompany me to the police station so that they can do something to help her reach her home. The moment I mentioned Police she took to her heels and she vanished into the crowd of the bus depot in a jiffy.
I felt better that I relied on my gut instinct.
After that, I experienced many such incidents in Hyderabad in different degrees. In Tirupathi many a times, I find people approaching and requesting for help with some money saying that they came for the darshan of the lord and lost their purse and with that all their money. I heard few of my friends who shared the same experience I had in various places.
In the meanwhile, I read these posts and stories put up in facebook and other social media to be careful and aware of street beggars. I am not saying that all beggars are like this, but I am suggesting that majority of them are. Helping is good but help where it makes people lazy and where it leads to wrong paths is not recommended.
This incident reminds me of a famous quotation
The point I want to bring home to all those who read this post is that donate money, give your support and help where a person is truly benefited in a positive aspect and for the growth of that person but not otherwise.
The funny thing is I was discussing this story with my mom and she told me she too had such unexpected encounters with 2 people a “gangireddula” fellow who when was asked to come later by my mother said “if I come tomorrow will you give me one lakh rupees? No na so why are you asking me to come again.
Another one was a ten-year-old kid who came directly asking for 10 rupees. And when my mom asked him what he will do with them he told her that he will drink tea and that it is none of her business for a 10 rupees she is behaving as if she is giving him crores of rupees.
Finally, I want to conclude it by saying that support that cause which is for the betterment of the society but not for its degradation.