Nov 22, 2011

Beg or Die

It occurred four days ago, right in the first day of Luye Jirga – the day in which President Hamid Karzai had gathered 2030 national and international VIPs to discuss with them about permanent military bases of the USA.

I was walking on the Ministry of Educational Street, a sunny and rather foggy day. I was thinking to myself concerning Luye Jirga and its positive and negative consequences on my personal life. All of a sudden, my left leg smashed with a hard, stone-like thing that stopped me from walking. Starring down, I found a boy crying next to me while a pot of eggs was spattered on the pavement. ” ahhh …. There is no egg in my pot. My mom would kill me.” the boy was screaming. Hugging himself, he was weeping and tears were coming down to his face from his nice eyes.

It was so question-making, very novel. First I wondered what an ugly accident. I bend down and put a 100-Afghani to his hand. Afterward, I felt relaxed because I helped a human being like myself – particularly a kid – whose mother is that cruel that doesn’t figure out it was not her kid’s fault. It always happens for kids. They are learning new things, experiencing new phenomena and their parents are in charge of steering them.

Beside feeling relaxed it was a very interesting case to have a more profound understanding of kid psychology. Therefore, I stayed in a corner watching the weeping boy. After a while or so, I saw two people – who probably were compassionate like me - came to him giving him 50 Afghani and 100 Afghani. Then another person and another person came to him and bestowed him the same or less amount of money. I thought:” it is his right to do it because he needs money, because his mother would kill him right he gets home. Or ...”

But a new theory! What if his family sends him out to beg? begging?!

A big question comes to mind:” what is the rationality behind collapsing a pot of eggs on the street in order to make money?” I cannot find a proper answer for this question because somebody should do a research.

You are right. At first I didn’t contemplate that it might be a sort of begging. It might be misunderstanding of mine in definition of poverty and poorness. Scientifically, definition is an economic problem takes root from inflation, migration, bankruptcy, social and political revolution, displacement and many other things.

I went to boy and asked him if he could answer a couple of questions that scratched my mind. I paid him 100 Afghani to talk to me only for one minute. The first question I posed was that why he begs and he said my parent became disable duration Taliban era, before he was born. Then I asked how much he earns per day ( a dangerous and sensitive question). Wonderfully, he answered to me:” I make around 1000 Afghani per day since I started this new trick.” It is a big amount of money while a simple laborer makes 350 to 400 Afghani per day.

I have seen many little kids working in offices, on the streets and other places in order to make money for their families. Some of them wash the cars in a corner of the street, some others call people to take a taxi for 5 Afghani, some brushes the shoes, some beg and so on. Poverty is one of social and economic problem in the world that results to prostitution, child abuse, human trafficking and even death. According to Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, over 45% of Afghans make only one US dollar per day.