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Deaf and Dumb

I have all the sympathy in the world for people who live in poverty.  I have written before on how difficult it is to know which beggars are genuine and which are frauds.  There is one beggar who comes to my house and I find him extremely irritating.  I am ashamed to say it, but it's true.

It is this deaf and dumb man who comes around once every fortnight.  Everyone calls him 'Gunga' which means dumb.  He takes food, money and is always asking for old clothes.  The man is inoffensive enough but there is one thing about him which freaks me out.

He has this piece of stamp paper in Hindi.  This is obviously the certificate that he is deaf and dumb and unable to find suitable work.  If I have food ready, I give him some.  If I have clothes ready to go, I give them too.  Sometimes, if we have nothing else we give him five rupees.  But the thing that drives me more mad than anything is the way he waves that piece of paper about with an air of entitlement.

Ironically, he may be neither deaf nor dumb.  My nephew was out recently in an area far away from our home.  He spotted 'Gunga' deep in conversation with some other people.  He seemed to have no problem then either with hearing or speaking.  The same old story you hear about many a beggar.

He still comes around.  We still help him out whenever we can.  Why should we judge anyone?


  1. He is an artist/entrepreneur. For every wise guy born, ten suckers are born.

  2. When too many people cheat the system, the system collapses!

  3. It happens here too and it's often difficult to know who is genuine and who is not. I hate the ones that use their children to beg for money. A few years ago Mr A and I went food shopping early to the supermarket and when we came outside a small boy...couldn't have been more than 5 years old...was begging. I ended up giving him half of my shopping and really hoped that he was genuine and that it might have helped to feed his family. BUT he did ask for money as well...which makes me suspicious.

    MY FIL once told me that half the beggars you see on the streets are a lot better off than we are...they make a good living out of it.

  4. My mother always say that people in need hardly ever beg and if they do, out of desperation and you can see it in their eyes...
    She used to live in Southern Italy during World War II. She was a teenager, they starved because both Fascists than Nazis robbed them of everything they had... my mom always tells me that her mother never begged... that she had died instead. It's not right either... but you feel and see people who are begging because they are really desperate...

  5. It is hard to know whether they are genuine or not.

  6. My husband had an uncle who was deaf. He had a regular job, owned a home and did many of things we all do. If anyone came up to him, begging for money, his hands would start flying (sign language), telling them to get a job. He told us (written on note paper) to never give to strangers on the streets. They were no better than him, he explained.

    So I donate at church and to a few other organizations, but never on the streets.


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