Thu. Jun 1st, 2023

There is a significant increase in the number of beggars and if their behavior and begging methods are considered, it can be seen that these are not professional beggars but a large number of them are elderly women in white.

Pakistan: A symptom of a deteriorating economy, the white-clad class is forced to do business
Pakistan: A symptom of a deteriorating economy, the white-clad class is forced to do business


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Be it red, yellow, green traffic signs or grocery stores selling flour, sugar, and pulses in Islamabad, all you have to do is look up and see that there is a flood of beggars everywhere, most of them Elderly people in white cover their mouths and stretch out their hands to meet their needs in inflation and hide their identity from the world.

In one such grocery store, which is located in Karachi Company, Faiza was also pushing a trolley loaded with goods when six to eight people took turns reaching out to help her. took As soon as he sat in the front seat of the car, he could feel free from this fear to some extent.

When her husband asked the reason, she said, “The way these beggars were looking at the trolley of goods, I felt that they should not attack us and take away the goods.” She had helped the elderly people financially, but still, along with the fear of being robbed of their belongings, she was also afraid that Allah might be angry with her for not giving them some charity.

‘Professionals are not beggars, but they cannot see children hungry’

Outside the same store, on the side, a white-haired old man with a few handkerchiefs in his hand, his face covered with a mask and a white and pink checkered handkerchief, waited for a kindly look to reach out and help him. You don’t have to go ahead and spread your hands.

Talking to DW, Mateen Baba (pseudonym) said that he lives in Bari Imam (a small village on the outskirts of Islamabad). They have six children, four of whom are married and two daughters still at home. “My sons are good, but I can’t make ends meet. Inflation has gone up a lot. I am not a professional beggar, but I can’t see my children starving,” she said, tears choking her voice. And the mask on the face was wet with tears.

We are hearing echoes of rising inflation everywhere, but now its effects are beginning to be seen on the lives of the poor. There has been a significant increase in the number of beggars and when one considers their character and begging methods, it is clear that these are not professional or traditional beggars.

A large number of these people are elderly women and gentlemen and these people hide their faces with masks or dupatta so that no one who knows them will find them. In someone’s hand, two or four handkerchiefs, pans, maswak or packets of Namco appear in their hands, which they ask for help on the pretext of selling. Mateen Baba also told the same that he leaves the house asking to sell handkerchiefs and no one knows about asking for them.

Inflation at its peak

The prices of petroleum products and food items are increasing in Pakistan with each passing day. The rate of inflation has reached 30%, which has badly affected the middle class and the poor. Every party begins and ends with the mention of inflation and the heavy electricity and gas bills from above have done the trick.

When contacted, economist Muhammad Nasir, who is the chairperson of the Economics Department of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, told DW that the inflation rate is six to twenty-seven percent, but We need to look deeper. “Food inflation, which directly affects the poor and the middle class, has reached an all-time high of nearly 40 percent in Pakistan. The poor spend 50 percent of their income on food. which has increased to 100% in this era. Now he feeds himself by neglecting the other things like education and health.”

Increase in unemployment

Economist Nasir said that on the one hand, inflation is at its peak, on the other hand, unemployment has also increased due to the deteriorating economic conditions of Pakistan. Which once again affects the poor. Pakistan is imposing new taxes for income generation by accepting the IMF’s strict conditions, which are fueling the fire of inflation, but on the other hand, it is also a fact that apart from accepting the IMF’s conditions, it has There is no choice and the risk of default looms large.

He also pointed to another important point that these economic conditions and rising inflation are also pushing the middle class below the poverty line and dividing it into two classes, the rich and the poor. He further said that the rate of inflation will increase further this year and we will see people everywhere reaching out for their needs.

Need for social welfare programs

The recent government also demolished food stalls set up for the poor under Imran Khan’s regime under the dark of night labeling them as encroachments. Referring to this, the economist said that the government should show relaxation on strict administrative matters in this economic emergency situation. “Now these people who were working hard to feed their families will be forced to extend their hands to others.”

Regarding providing relief to the poor in this situation, he said that the government should start more social welfare programs like Benazir Income Support and more from the middle class on a temporary basis until Pakistan emerges from this economic emergency. Entitled people should be included in these programs so that they are not forced to extend their hands to anyone.

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