The first thing you have to know about beggers, is that you should only offer them food and water – not money. Why? Because it will just keep the begging industry going, and we believe you are wise enough to know whom to help and how to help.
This woman of an uncertain age sits near the subway station. She has dirty and confused hair, and her head is always bowed in grief. She sits on the dirty floor and there’s a bag or a cup where people throw money just next to her. A two-year-old sleeping baby in a dirty hat and dirty clothes is in her hands.
Numerous passers-by will donate money for the lady with the baby because they feel sorry for those less fortunate. They are ready to give our last penny out of our pocket for the unfortunate people, and not think about the other issue. They think that they’ve done a good job by “helping them”.
Knowing that this is a gang-operated scam, and the money collected by the begger will be given to whoever controls beggers in the area, we did not give them any money. The one who controls them owns numerous luxury properties in the area and many sports cars, and the begger usually gets “a bottle of vodka in the evening and a döner kebab”. However, this is when the shock hits.
Walking past the begger for a month, I realized that there’s something wrong with the baby dressed in a dirty tracksuit sleeping from the morning to the evening in a dirty underground station. Bare in mind, the baby was ALWAYS asleep, and he/she never sobbed or screamed.
Anyone that has a child remembers just how often they slept at the age of 1, 2, or 3 years old. About an hour or two, and almost never consecutive. However, the begger’s child never moved, for a month!
Staring at the baby, and with my suspicion gradually formed I asked the begger: “Why does he sleep all the time?”
At first she pretended that she did not hear the question, and she just murmured “f*** off”.
I asked her the same question again, and an older person tapped me on the shoulder and told me not to bother the begger because “she’s obviously got it very hard in her life”. He put his hand in his pocket and he put some coins into her bag.
We managed to find out that the begger is actually a part of a business, and despite the genuine appearance, it is clearly a well-organized one. Organized crime rings supervise it, and the children are usually “rented” by alcoholic parents, or just stolen.
And to the question ‘Why is the baby always sleeping?’
The answer we received is a very cruel one. The babies are usually on heroin, or vodka, so they don’t scream while he/she sits with the begger for the whole day.
They pump up the babies with vodka or drugs so they will sleep the whole day, and because their tiny little bodies cannot cope with such a shock, they often die very young. The worst part is that they sometimes die during the “working day”, and the “mother” must hold the baby in her hands until the evening – that’s the rule.
The passers-by will throw some coins in the beg, and they believe they are moral and they did good, helping the mother.
The next time you see a woman with a child on the street or in the subway, think twice before handing them your money. Think that if there weren’t people that throw them money, their business would die, and the children will survive. Do not see the child with affection, see it with horror.