An old lady outside the temple gate...
On any normal day, I would have ignored them on my way… but not on last Friday. It is not a rare scene especially in Bangalore, you come across beggar’s aging from kids to elderly person on every signals, temple outlets, bus stops or any crowded areas. Some beggars have found it as their profession. Perhaps that is why the generosity or sympathy factor towards these less-fortunate has come down. At times it makes us wonder whether they are genuinely unfortunate or just acting as if they are helpless. A perfect example for this would be the begger who normally comes towards you on the signal of Kundanhalli gate. When Signal turns red, this guy slowly strides towards you shaking/shivering almost every part of his body! When it turns green, he promptly moves away towards the divider – in split seconds he becomes absolutely stable from an highly unstable state! Normally, people think twice before giving a penny to anyone who looks physically fit. In my case, it is the same irrespective of age group/gender. However, I give away some towards those elderly people who are in their prime age and at that age you can’t expect them to work to make a living out of it...
|Image Courtesy - devotedconversations.com|
Last Friday, when we went to a temple near our house, I saw an elderly woman sitting right in front of the entrance. She had this dislocated back, so much bent that I doubted if she could stand up in a normal way. At that age, eye sight normally goes down and clearly, she was in no position to afford even a spectacles. She was very weak who could hardly hold those outstretch hands steadily for even a 10 sec.
I couldn’t pray as my thoughts were revolving around that old lady whose outstretched hands went unnoticed by majority of the crowd who visited the temple. Some ignored and some gave a stern look. Few gave a penny which she promptly took and tucked inside her clothes. So many people came, offered prayers and gave their share of money in the ‘kanike hundi’ (donation box), took the prasadam and left the place. In some half an hour, roughly, more than 50 people visited the temple. Most of them if not all, put some money ranging for 1 rupee to even 100 to the temple and hardly 5 of them gave something to the old lady! This reminded me of the movie ‘Oh my god’. Was the money spent of good use?
On the other hand did she deserve that? It makes me wonder sometime, how the almighty on whom we put our faith and trust can sit quiet and idle! If not help directly, can’t even provoke the devotees to help such needy hands! Or is it that god only answers the one who bribes him/her with money?
I understand when people don’t help beggars who are physically fit or young. But when we donate to the temple/ temple trust which makes good money from the devotees, who in turn don’t even help the needy like the old women or even consider giving some prasadam, raises a question. Was it really a good use of our hard earned money!? I am not saying that all temples make only money and don’t use it for social purpose.
Still, I do feel that it should be given to the hands of the needy (a genuine less-fortunate)