Has Begging Become A Business In Ghana?

Many traffic lights in the city have practically become the point of congregation for beggars, most of whom are children.

In times past, begging was only a preserve to persons with disability, it is the reason why a phrase was coined which is; disability does not mean inability.

But today, it has become a full time business for some people, the activity used not to be a dignified one, as such those who are unfortunate to find themselves with disability and are shunned by society do that to fend for themselves.

Children, no matter their physical conditions, must not be put in the street to go and beg. Ghana has ratified and domestication so many United Nations Conventions relating to child labour and yet we all drive past the traffic lights, and see these kids come to our cars to beg for alms, without anyone taking the trouble to help get them off the streets.

There is a law in Ghana called the Beggars and Destitutes Act, 1969 (N.L.C.D 392). This law makes the act of begging an offence.

The purpose of the Act is to provide for the establishment of institutions at places for the reception of destitute persons and for other related matters.

In spite of this law, we have seen a tremendous increase in the number of beggars, their activity, has made nonsense of a law that, was to all intent and purposes ensure dignity of all persons.

Adults can decide what they want to do with their lives, but to turn children, who should be in school into beggars, must be condemned by all well-meaning Ghanaians.

We agree with the expert opinion that children should be allowed to work on their dreams, not in the streets.

Again, we from the perspective above, suggest that punitive measures should be put in place to penalize parents or guardians, who decide to exploit children by using them as beggars.

This newspaper is concerned about this development. In its opinion, there is an urgent need for the government and its agencies to approach this attitude that is mortgaging the future of these children, whether they are born of Ghanaian parents or not with greater vigour, because they do not have any say, in how they are deployed.



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