Poverty

Reply
#1 Aug 18th, 2014, 04:37
Join Date:
Aug 2014
Location:
Lancaster
Posts:
8
  • Fireside is offline
#1
Hello everyone!

I'm sure this question has been answered but I can't seem to find the information I'm looking for via the search. Feel free to redirect me to any threads that already exist on this.

I've spoken to a few westerners who have visited and while they don't really tell me anything I didn't already know or suspect I find myself troubled by how mush poverty I expect to encounter when I go. As a visitor, how do you remain in a compassionate state of mind without either driving yourself nuts or giving away every Rupee you have? I tend to be a sensitive person when it comes to the needy even though I know I can't really save everyone (or anyone, really). How did you deal with it when you went?

Thanks for any advice!

FH
#2 Aug 18th, 2014, 04:59
Join Date:
Aug 2003
Location:
In the Middle of Nowhere, The Center of Everything
Posts:
2,755
Send a message via Yahoo to Darmabum
  • Darmabum is offline
#2
I think you might look to the few westerners you have talked to, and let that be your answer: they've said nothing that you didn't already know . . . this is one of those things that make India the place it is: (for me) the most personal travel I've ever done, revealing (at times) maybe less of itself and more of your Self. No, unless you're very wealthy, you can't give to everyone, and you'll need to come to terms with that yourself. You come to terms with it, I think, by giving to some/as you can (as I do), and by not giving (as I do). Like many things, you do it enough and you get used to it . . . sort of . . . but then again, I've only spent about two and half years in country . . . Good luck
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate; our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure - Marianne Williamson
#3 Aug 18th, 2014, 05:30
Join Date:
Aug 2014
Location:
Lancaster
Posts:
8
  • Fireside is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darmabum View Post I think you might look to the few westerners you have talked to, and let that be your answer: they've said nothing that you didn't already know . . . this is one of those things that make India the place it is: (for me) the most personal travel I've ever done, revealing (at times) maybe less of itself and more of your Self. No, unless you're very wealthy, you can't give to everyone, and you'll need to come to terms with that yourself. You come to terms with it, I think, by giving to some/as you can (as I do), and by not giving (as I do). Like many things, you do it enough and you get used to it . . . sort of . . . but then again, I've only spent about two and half years in country . . . Good luck


Thank you for your response. I appreciate the advice.
#4 Aug 18th, 2014, 05:34
Join Date:
May 2010
Location:
Bradford
Posts:
1,190
  • dan bushell is offline
#4
I made a decision after a few weeks in India that I was going to give time rather than money having seen all the poverty so I did voluntary work at a home for destitute and dying in Calcutta.
If you don't have time to give make a donation to an organisation helping the needy and the aid will be targeted specifically.
I say this as many of the beggars in the tourist areas are in effect 'employed' to beg and it's controlled.
if I gave anyone something it would always be food toe eat but that couldn't be re-sold.
an example of this is the baby-no milk scam that operates in many cities whereby a tourist gets duped into buying and expensive tin of Complan that then gets sold back to the shop 5 minutes later!!
#5 Aug 18th, 2014, 05:59
Join Date:
Jul 2011
Location:
UK
Posts:
2,503
  • Fing Fang is offline
#5
I would consider how I feel and deal with my attitudes towards poverty in my own country. Then hopefully, in turn, I would be able to cope better when seeing poverty elsewhere. You also haven't said the types of poverty you expect to see / that your worried about facing. Is it mainly begging? Or people sleeping on streets - or other kinds of poverty?

Next time you see a big issue seller - buy one. Next time you see a homeless person in the UK asking for money - give some... or buy them a hot drink / sandwich. I am sure you'll feel good about yourself and your actions afterwards. You can't afford to give to everyone or help everyone. But maybe if you feel good about yourself afterwards then you will feel happy to continue these good deeds in another country and won't be too worried about if your money is going to a scam or professional beggar. Maybe if you decide you want to support people in poverty further you would be interested in doing some volunteering - either in UK or abroad. There would be plenty of organisations happy to have both financial and practical help.
#6 Aug 18th, 2014, 07:33
Join Date:
Aug 2014
Location:
Lancaster
Posts:
8
  • Fireside is offline
#6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post I would consider how I feel and deal with my attitudes towards poverty in my own country. Then hopefully, in turn, I would be able to cope better when seeing poverty elsewhere. You also haven't said the types of poverty you expect to see / that your worried about facing. Is it mainly begging? Or people sleeping on streets - or other kinds of poverty?

Next time you see a big issue seller - buy one. Next time you see a homeless person in the UK asking for money - give some... or buy them a hot drink / sandwich. I am sure you'll feel good about yourself and your actions afterwards. You can't afford to give to everyone or help everyone. But maybe if you feel good about yourself afterwards then you will feel happy to continue these good deeds in another country and won't be too worried about if your money is going to a scam or professional beggar. Maybe if you decide you want to support people in poverty further you would be interested in doing some volunteering - either in UK or abroad. There would be plenty of organisations happy to have both financial and practical help.
Hi Fing Fang,

I'm not really worried about not wanting to give. Rather, I know it isn't necessarily helpful to give blindly. Here in the US (Lancaster, PA - sorry for the confusion!) I generally buy food for those I see on the street. But the poverty here is relativity "hidden". One may see a beggar or two every few months during the summer. My concern was that the impression I got from others who have visited India is that in the major cities poverty is everywhere to be seen and I know it would be difficult to walk by those in need even if a good number of them were "faking it".

I was just seeing how people cope on an emotional level with the poverty and also how they pick and choose whom to give to. I've been given a few pointers by a friend of mine but he recommended I ask around here

On a side note, I have definitely considered volunteering my time in India. It is still in the plans. I am visiting India for the first time next January though, so it's all new to me. Thank you for your advice!

FH
#7 Aug 18th, 2014, 08:02
Join Date:
Mar 2011
Location:
Northern NJ
Posts:
583
  • Pani Puri is offline
#7
I agree that you can't give to everyone. Poverty is everywhere....it is not like it is in the U.S. I would usually buy something to eat and mostly give to the elderly, children, or someone with a handicap. Knowing what an organized business begging is makes it very hard to sort who really needs help. I always felt for the families living under a tarp in the street in the monsoon but they weren't out begging. Donating money to an organization can be hard - it that's the way you choose to go be sure to research the organization carefully and see where the money is going. Sadly you do toughen up....when I first visited India I was shocked when colleagues would pass by beggars without a second glance. But then you figure it out for yourself.
#8 Aug 18th, 2014, 22:41
Join Date:
Nov 2009
Location:
Dilli
Posts:
1,660
Send a message via Yahoo to theRock Send a message via Skype™ to theRock
  • theRock is offline
#8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireside View Post Hello everyone!

I'm sure this question has been answered but I can't seem to find the information I'm looking for via the search. Feel free to redirect me to any threads that already exist on this.

I've spoken to a few westerners who have visited and while they don't really tell me anything I didn't already know or suspect I find myself troubled by how mush poverty I expect to encounter when I go. As a visitor, how do you remain in a compassionate state of mind without either driving yourself nuts or giving away every Rupee you have? I tend to be a sensitive person when it comes to the needy even though I know I can't really save everyone (or anyone, really). How did you deal with it when you went?

Thanks for any advice!

FH
Don't get too emotional when you see poverty on streets. There are organized gangs here who could earn more by begging than a usual software engineer can do.These organized gangs force/kidnap children and even disable them to beg on streets.Many cases they are not even disabled and just act like it.

A small search through google can open your eyes.

Mumbai's beggars earn Rs 180 cr a year
Rs.10 Crores By Begging In Ajmer Alone...Imagine About Whole India


Their major target in metros are foreigners since often they can somehow manage Rs 50-500 from "Fool Foreigners" .This also includes many Scams in which a new person can easily trapped.Please go through these threads since this topic is already discussed on IndiaMike in detail...
Scams and Annoyances in India
Beggars on break, shit on sandal
How to deal with the beggars


Simply giving away money/food would never decrease poverty.If you are really interested in helping poor then look towards programs for education.

Now Volunteering is a good idea but again it needs to be checked again since there are many fake NGO's in India and talking of stats there are about 3+ Million NGO's in India and roughly 100,000 NGO's in Delhi alone! Just 2% of total NGO's have proper registration and FCRA.

Only 2% NGOs registered with govt
First official estimate: An NGO for every 400 people in India


So take your time and think whatever you do.You may ask if you have further queries!
#9 Aug 18th, 2014, 23:42
Join Date:
Aug 2006
Location:
U.K
Posts:
1,564
  • fsg is offline
#9
Suggest you get an organised tour.

FF seemed to manage fine but she is super savvy.

Poverty is everywhere, what is happening now on the ME is horrendous, its not poverty but genocide
#10 Aug 18th, 2014, 23:43
Join Date:
Apr 2009
Location:
Almora
Posts:
6,337
  • jituyadav is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fireside View Post As a visitor, how do you remain in a compassionate state of mind without either driving yourself nuts or giving away every Rupee you have?.... How did you deal with it when you went?
I totally get what you are going through. The issue is universal I think, and as an Indian, even I am continuously in dilemma that you describe. Poverty is something that makes me uncomfortable to the point that I sometimes question myself about whatever assets I have, even though I know I could have had much more if I ignored my social escapades.

Having blabbered all this, I have yet to find an answer of dealing with the situation, because I have realised that no matter what one decides, when faced with a situation, the inherent nature will take over.

The regret of doing a social act may follow if one feels cheated by the recipient in any way, or for any other reason, but the regret is nothing compared to that when you decide not to help somebody in need.

My experience says that It will always be a seasaw, where you will never be really at home. I guess it is the side effect of being socially sensitive, and the fact that most are scamsters who use the life of downtrodden and underprivileged to fool people, makes life difficult.

In the end, I will say that be ready to be called a fool 80% of the times when you help somebody, by the same people you help, or curse yourself for doing nothing...it is a loop that has no end answers, only the beginning with every new interaction.

For better results, give your sensitive side a back seat if you really wish to enjoy the travel, and never give a second though to what you did
If you find my posts confrontationist, please bear, I am an old frustrated guy who has nothing better to do than sit on rocking chair and curse the world whole day
#11 Aug 19th, 2014, 01:07
Join Date:
Aug 2014
Location:
Lancaster
Posts:
8
  • Fireside is offline
#11
I really appreciate everyone's replies. I think it will help me prepare myself mentally both to "give wisely" if at all, and also not to beat myself up if I choose not to give in any given situation.
#12 Aug 19th, 2014, 01:24
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
London (UK) (Current) & Pali Hill, Bombay (IN)
Posts:
8,826
  • ViShVa is offline
#12
I have lived in India for close to 15 years in total though the UK is home. Last month I was led to buy two street kids (both girls under 10) 2kg bags of rice and daal and other sundries. My total bill was close to £10 (Rs.1000). After that, the next time I was near there I got suspicious when they asked for baby wet-wipes! I was later told it was a scam and that they would sell the stuff back to the shop-keeper! It is best to give cooked food if you really want to. Or employment. (guide, driver, errand boy etc.).
#13 Aug 19th, 2014, 01:30
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
Garhwal Himalaya
Posts:
4,513
  • Paleface is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fing Fang View Post Next time you see a big issue seller - buy one. Next time you see a homeless person in the UK asking for money - give some... or buy them a hot drink / sandwich. I am sure you'll feel good about yourself and your actions afterwards.
Save trees don't buy Big Issue, because it is one. Why would you feel good about that anyway? Givers and receivers create each other, and one is not superior to the other. What about if you feel good about yourself and your actions already and don't want to create any more credit/debit relationships.

Such an existential conundrum it is, giving and receiving, compassion and suffering, and how both are inter-dependent upon the other as the act of giving is not possible without receiving.
#14 Aug 19th, 2014, 01:44
Join Date:
Jan 2010
Location:
London (UK) (Current) & Pali Hill, Bombay (IN)
Posts:
8,826
  • ViShVa is offline
#14
I can never hope to feed clothe school and house all the people I personally know who are poor. I do not have the heart or the passion or grace that leads some to disavow their material comfort to help others. I give when I am feeling rich and have moolah in my pocket. A Rs.1000 tip to my favourite restaurant's washroom attendant every few weeks makes a huge difference to him and nought to me. Finally it is about being able to afford to give. If you can afford it, you should give a little of what you have to the have-nots. Hopefully, I will never need to be at the receiving end.
#15 Aug 19th, 2014, 02:40
Join Date:
Nov 2008
Location:
Garhwal Himalaya
Posts:
4,513
  • Paleface is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by ViShVa View Post Hopefully, I will never need to be at the receiving end.
“The real measure of your wealth is how much you’d be worth if you lost all your money.” ~Unknown

This is probably not appropriate, then it's only a story highlighting the true meaning of wealth, which goes something like this.. There was a beggar who spent the days sitting under a banyan tree on the side of a dusty road that led to a busy town. The man had been begging in that spot for years, rattling an old tin can in the hope that passers-by would feel compassion and bung him something.

But few Buddhists passed, for at the end of each day he would only have collected a few rupees, barely enough to buy a chapati and a chai.

Then one day a saddhu was passing, “My man, why are you wasting these years begging in this way? If you dig right where you are, you will discover great treasure”

Intrigued by this, the beggar used his bare hands and began digging the earth under where he had been sitting.

Incredibly, the beggar discovered a huge bag of rare, gold coins.

Dancing with joy he declared, “Had I realized I was sitting on top of great wealth I could have eased my suffering years ago”
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Poverty alleviation Oct 10th, 2013 13:55 7 835 Chai and Chat
Poverty Tours Jul 23rd, 2012 12:46 16 5080 India Travel News and Commentary
Poverty, can India wipe out poverty? Apr 7th, 2008 02:48 10 2112 Chai and Chat
On Poverty Oct 19th, 2004 13:55 30 3671 Chai and Chat


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2017
Page Load Success