Child beggars deserve bright future

By Rabi Sankar Bosu
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail CRI, October 26, 2016
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"And are gone to praise God and His Priest and King,

Who make up a Heaven of our misery." - The Chimney Sweeper : William Blake

The news of two Chinese disabled beggars on a street of Malaysia's capital Kuala Lumpur published on on October 18, 2016 brought tears to my eyes. The image of the wailing Chinese maimed child beggar on a street in China with the mentioned report filled my heart with an overwhelming feeling of sadness for him. The report surely raises question marks to 'modern' China's economic boom in very lurid colours. As per the news reports, transnational gangs are maiming and disfiguring Chinese children, keeping them captive for a number of years before sending them to Malaysia on tourist visas for begging in hot tourist spots. This is extremely shocking! I am sure that these Chinese children like other victims also suffered excruciating torture by the hands of beggar rackets. While chopping off their limbs, perhaps these little kids helplessly screamed in agony: "Don't beat me, please; don't cut my leg, please. Save me, please." But the so-called modern society turns a deaf ear to the rosary of their painful life.

In every religion, a child is treated as the shadow of God. But the harsh reality of this cruel world on child beggars is depressing. The child trafficking is not just the problem of China only; it's a very real problem all over the world. The horror of children begging is in India as much as in China also. Hundreds of thousands of innocent children fall into the clutches of the beggar gangs and are exploited commercially by global criminal groups within or across international borders every year. The child begging is troublingly common sight in nearly every country in the world, developing or developed countries. The problem of maimed child beggary has become a colossal one in south Asian countries, particularly India, Bangladesh Pakistan and Sri Lanka. No doubt the Child beggars are the '21st-century version of Oliver Twists' - the Charles Dickens novel in which the villain Fagin forces a group of young children to extract cash from rich Londoners for him. The Child begging is modern-day slavery. However not all children beg for themselves and their own survival, some are forced by others into doing it. Children are trafficked into begging by organized criminal gangs which have syndicated links with other cross -border counterparts. The traffickers profit from child beggars. The money they earn is usually paid to the gangsters.

The brutal ways of the 'Beggar Mafia' have no limits. They kidnap or entice children away from the possession of their parents, as well as steal new-born babies from hospitals and then commit inhuman cruelties on them. These criminals are so dangerous and amoral that they do not hesitate to hack the limbs off children. The abducted children are fed very little food and water and are hidden in large vessels for months and suffer from nutrition deficiency .They use the children as begging 'props' to maximize their earnings from sympathetic passers-by in public places. The gangs also pour acid on to the children's bodies, leaving them with suppurating wounds. Some other unfortunate young children are bought by the 'Beggar Mafia' from relatives or custodians who cannot afford to keep them or simply do not want them. These children are first brutally beaten, burnt and starved for days in order to make them look miserable and then sent to the streets to beg. The gangs also keep the children addicted to opium or other drugs in order to control them. The gang leaders including women also, keep a check on the beggars so that they could not steal the money. Or if children are found doing so they are beaten black and blue for that. The mafia gangs also kill children and throw their bodies into the river. Not all the abducted children are maimed for begging; some are forced into child pornography and prostitution. We cannot imagine that the girl who at her tender age, changes every night from hand to hand, to the fact, there is nothing in her life. And the modern society is moving forward bearing the curse of little "Eve".

The shocking story of two Chinese beggars- Xiu Yuan and Du Feng on a street of Kuala Lumpur isn't the first time it has been reported about, but such type of news always ends up with nothing definite being done, because there's a godfather behind the trafficking. According to the Chinese media, child trafficking has become big business in China for many years. There are no statistics for the black industry of child-trafficking in China. But it has been estimated that as many as 70,000 children are sold by unscrupulous gangs each year. The Beijing Youth Daily said that Chinese children becoming beggars or vagrants have been a problem for a long time. According to China's Social Welfare and Social Affairs Department of the Ministry of Civil Affairs, China has approximately 1 to 1.5 million homeless children and a large number of homeless children are forced to beg to make money.

Child beggars are mainly from China's poverty-stricken areas such as Henan, Guizhou and Gansu provinces. Some are kidnapped or bought by traffickers. Some are rented by child beggar organizers from their parents. The business of forcing children into begging by human traffickers as a means of getting rich has become ever more rampant in China's rural areas. According to a news report of in 2011, "the traffickers tortured children into absolute obedience to their orderings, and usually handicapped them into a physical disability or mutilated their bodies so the children would fetch more sympathy when begging…… The children were taken to begging on the streets of major Chinese cities under the watchful eyes of traffickers". Hopefully, the Government of China has been helping beggars out of dire situations. In 2003, the central government implemented the Management of Street Beggars in Cities plan, with stations that provide food and shelter for the homeless in major cities. A micro blog, set up by Yu Jiangrong, a researcher with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, has been conducting a nationwide child beggar rescue campaign since 2011. In another report of in 2015, it is revealed that child beggars on Beijing's Subways have seen marked increases during China's school summer vacation. Beijing subway authorities imposed a ban on begging in May, 2015. According to Xinhua news reports, currently street children have access to food and accommodation at relief stations, which also provide help for adult vagrants. According to reports, by the end of 2015, China had 502,000 orphans, of which 92,000 were up for adoption. As regards to the reported Chinese disabled beggars on the streets of Malaysia, thanks to God, the Chinese Embassy in Malaysia has started to investigate the case of Chinese children with severe physical deformities found begging in Malaysia.

The beggar mafia is a huge industry on the shoulder of disabled children and poor people and the perpetrators get away scot-free every time. The mafia of human trafficking and begging industry does not allow the child to enjoy his or her life. There is collusion between the lawmakers and lawbreakers in everywhere of the world. It is important for law enforcement to arrest the traffickers and award them the death penalty in order to make an example to the others in this dirty business. According to a report, the current criminal law of China, human traffickers can be sentenced to a maximum ten years in prison. The Supreme People's Court of China punished 13,000 people for involvement in trafficking, more than half got punishment ranging from five years in prison to death during 2010-2014.

I think the child traffickers deserve the death penalty as they could go to the extreme and, in desperation, hurt or even kill a child. Without specialized human trafficking laws, victims are subjected to greater uncertainties while traffickers face reduced risks and penalties. These little beggars are helpless and seek public support. Child beggars all over the world deserve a bright future. They want to be loved, and they need to be loved. Humanity is finding its way out from humans. I want to quote the words of the 40th U.S. President Ronald Reagan: "We can't help everyone, but everyone can help someone." And I believe that we must help the child beggars to make our world more beautiful.

The Author:

Rabi Sankar Bosu, Secretary of New Horizon Radio Listeners' Club, West Bengal, India


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