A National Problem :

Street Begging In Senegal

August 10, 2013  |  By Khady Diop, Senegal

A National Problem :

Senegal is a country where umemployment rate is very high. This is one of the main reasons why some people take advantage of this situation and indulge in begging.

Many of the beggars we meet are strong and healthy. Yet, they set themselves somewhere in the main streets, or at the markets, or at the entry of banks to ask for food and money. Often, those beggars use very young children who hang on people's clothes and nearly force you to give them a coin of 50 or 100 CFA.

But they are not the only ones. Disabled people too tend to use their physical handicap as an excuse to justify their act of begging. They generally post themselves at street corners or in front of banks.

The problem of street beggars, especially child begging, has become a controversial issue in Senegal. Child beggars are severely beaten by their tutors (Koranic teachers) if they fail to collect the amount of money required by their teachers. In August 2010, the Senegalese government passed a law to forbid street begging in the country as a result of growing pressure from international partners who believe the government is not doing enough to fight against the practice of begging. However, the measure failed because there is no welfare system, and there is some resistance from very influential Muslim groups, especially the Baay Fall who belong to the Murid Muslim community.

People must believe in themselves even if they are poor or handicapped. If their mind is still perfect, they can use their intelligence in order to have a bright future and contribute to the development of their countries. There exist a lot of disabled people around the world who have succeeded in life thanks to their determination to achieve great things in life. Therefore, begging is not a solution, and it cannot be regarded as a way to success. It is a symbol of failure and laziness because beggars reflect an image of parasites, surviving only at the expenses of the brave people who accept to work hard. Today, people haven't got anything to give to beggars because they are affected by the global economic crisis; so, the best thing to do is to tell people to depend on themselves. When people are hungry, do not give them food but teach them how to fish.

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Comments from our readers

Name :

Constantin

Comment :

Happy Beltane all! We should, stcirtly speaking, be dancing round May poles in the southern hemisphere right now and celebrating fertility and the union of the God and Goddess!I just wish Kiwis would give up on hitching themselves to celebrations at the wrong time of year.If people want to do Halloween - wait till Autumn/Winter! It so does my head in every year!And as for trick and treat... we never did it as youngsters in the seventies in the UK - it came in when I was a teenage, along with much hype.We did the simple stuff, apple bobbing etc. Great, harmless fun. And lighting the candles to ward off any evil spirits - wooooooooo

Name :

JYGGA

Comment :

I REALY APRECIATE THIS ARTICLE BECOSE ITS TALKING ABT THE STEET BEGGERS AND WE ALL MUST HELP THEM SO KHADY KEEP ON ITS GONNA BE RIGHT

Name :

jygga

Comment :

i realy appreciate this u are a good journalist keep on in this way evry thing gonna be all right

Name :

Mame fatu

Comment :

Nice article i like, you have shown one part of the great problem that the beggars bide. Nevertheless i think that the parents and (koranic teacher) are the big responsible for its phenomenon and i think it must be banned in ours society...

Name :

ndiogou diaw

Comment :

i think that must do his occupation buy do something so to mind these child about their situation her hungry and the cold very hard because every moment they sleep in the street and other miserable situation

Name :

nixilli

Comment :

Wonderful, there is nothing to add. -You have exposed throughout your article the main reason why we cannot fight against the practicing of begging here in SENEGAL. i just wanted to tell people who are using the religion as a way to cheat that GOD is the first one who is against begging. If you want any proof, go learn the history of the Prophet Mouhamed ( psl ).

Name :

corca baidy

Comment :

It is a good article,and you have good reported the situation of beggars.and it is very very nice continue on this way.

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