Today when I went to pick up my younger brother from school, while waiting for him to come, outside the gate I saw this beggar walking up to a lady and ask her alms. From what I gathered I presume she said no, and this evoked no emotion in me as he seemed quite healthy man, not the thin and starving sort you get to see, frankly, he should have been working.
And then, he pointed to his right foot and I saw that the upper layers of skin were torn and falling off and that he was bleeding quite badly. It seems like he’d just been in an accident and a car had run over his foot. As he had no footwear to protect his feet, and so his skin had been rent.
It was terrible. She made a face reflecting surprise, pity and disgust and refused him any money anyway. Within the next ten seconds the school guard had reached there and began shooing him off. He limped away begging for help.
No one bothered to give him a single paise.
I was busy guarding a heavy bag of belongings but managed to send whatever change I had with the guard.
I’m sure that lady and the teacher next to her, not to mention the countless passersby were very well to do and did some charity through the year and took pride in themselves for the charity which they did – giving plenty to charitable organizations. But none could part with ten rupees to help a beggar buy a bottle of antiseptic lotion, cotton and a bandage.
It just disgusts me that people have become so callous. If he wore good clothes and came near the school asking for help, the school itself would have given him a first – aid box. Just because he was in rags doesn’t make him any less of a person. He still has the same needs as us, and feels the same pain.
I wonder when people will realize that charity isn’t that certificate of thanks they receive from a charity organization but how much they help a person in need.
And soon, those drops of blood he’d left on the pavement while limping away being walked and stamped over, dried and faded away.