Monday, June 25, 2012

The Price of Two BUCKS!

Two Bucks is two bucks, no matter whether you live in the slums of the third world or the suburbs of the first world. Two bucks may be two rupees, two takas or two dollars (or two cents). No Matter whether the colour of the note is grey or green, the people asks for same thing, a few from who has more. What can any one do for the two bucks? ask from you, run towards you keeping pace with the rickshaw, don’t give damn about your scolding and continue asking for it, and even lose life sometimes. Although, Materialistically speaking, “Sir, Please lend us two dollars!” will be much better than saying; “Mama, Dui taka den!” or; “Dai Dui taka dinuhos!”; The Plight of the seeker can hardly be different. And one of the things we, people living on third world countries, find in abundance is that there is no shortage of seekers who can go to extend normally unimaginable for two bucks.

Yes, I am talking about the beggars, the people who we are liked least and talked least about. I am hardly different from everyone else, I don’t like the beggars especially those with the mysterious and filthy tumors and found scores in every religious places. they ranges in all age groups. And while some beg for begging while others have no choice but to beg. As we all know must of the beggars are the children. I have two contrasting views on child beggars, one is that they think begging as an easy money which they use to buy food as well as drugs, i.e. giving money to the beggars may often encourage the children to leave their home and beg. Others, abandoned by their parents or orphaned have no choice but to beg, to fell the tummy until some Hotel-wala or tong-wala provides them the food to get cheap labours.

Few days ago, I was in the market buying some stuffs to bring stuffs back home. I saw a kid looking at me eating snacks in the restaurant. The staffs and the waiters were scolding him while he was asking to every person getting out of hotel; “Mama Dui Taka Den!” (Sir, Please give me two dollars!). While eating, I got sympathized by the kid, and while getting out of hotel bought him five pakaudas. I gave it to him and asked to eat, while he said, “I will eat two and will take three home which my younger brother will eat.” By home he might have been referring some kind of hut or street which idk. I asked him about his whereabouts and he said his mother was killed last year by some rich town-people doing hit and run, leaving him and his brother alone and disarray. I did the only thing I could have done then, bought him another five pakaudas. The smiley face of him made my day!

Five pakaudas is never enough, neither is two bucks, what they need is more than that. I know some people who are running orphanages for such kids, ….. is certainly one of those person who has bigger heart and deeds to her name than I can ever explain. Now, back to the two bucks, The other day I was in Dhaka, on my way home. A kid came running to my Rickshaw saying the famous words of third world,"Mama dui taka sahojjo karun" (Sir, please help us with two bucks). I was too busy engaged with music in my pod to look at the kid keeping pace with the rickshaw. The rickshaw-driver started scolding the kid. Grazing in the pocket I gave him five takas. The rickshaw-wala said to me, “Mama! apni ei chele der ke chinen na.. eider ke sahojjo korte korte apni fokir hoye jaben” (Sir, you don’t know these kids, if you keep on looting money you will become poor). The rickshaw was stuck in the traffic jam, from where I managed to see the kid shaded by the puff of smoke that came from gold-leaf he was smoking. And a few of the kids came after me in the rickshaw as I now became engaged to the music of my headphones.

I wasn’t at all sympathetic to the beggars before some time. There is one old woman in the university who sits before university cafeteria and asks for “Two bucks” to every passing students. She is like every other beggars except she wasn’t like this few years before. She had a family and didn’t have to worry about putting foods for the tummy. I was new to Bangladesh, living in the locale new to her’s when her house got burnt. Her husband died and two of the four children died, her legs were burned too. Fast forward two years, the burn-injury has now almost developed into cancer, one of the child lost his legs while other washes dishes in one of the tongs. I give her “two bucks” whenever I can; not because it will provide her with everything she lost, but because may be It may help her buy food. Some of my friends even helps in this cause, and we buy foods to the beggars around our department some time, and give them our old clothes in the winter. One thing about winter is that although obviously I like it more than summer, but thinking what people with only a piece of cloth has to bear, chills(in other way) me.

So, What should be our attitude towards these people. should we lend them “the two takas”? Realistically speaking government has much more greater things to do than to care about these people. Honestly, the beggars doesn’t even vote and they don’t have any organisation to protest, so it doesn’t matter if they die of starving or else. Also, as I said in the beginning, since we have a lot of such peoples, its almost impossible to take care of all. I mentioned the name of Dikshya earlier, because by adopting kids, she is providing the future to the children who would have ended saying; “Dai dui rupaiya dinus na!”. The two bucks you provide to the kids may well be leading them to a darker future as well as it might be buying them some food. Lets pledge, we that we provide them with better things(not individually perhaps but collectively as the tfc-ians are doing to some extend) than just the two bucks! And although the kids might be taking themselves to darker future, so have nothing else as an option, so lets not turn our face away from every single beggar.