I wish to highlight a situation which is getting out of control and needs to be addressed asap by the government and Ministry of Social Protection.
I am a professional who works out in the fields visiting several areas on the coast on a daily basis. I will give a synopsis of one of my typical day at work and highlight the number of beggars and homeless persons I interact with.
I would start out on the East Coast and head to Georgetown. At the Conversation Street stop light, I would be greeted by two guys whose feet are amputated and begging. At Lamaha and Vlissengen, I would see at least 2-3 mothers and child/children at the junction begging. At Lamaha and Camp Streets, there would be another 2 begging. At Water Street or downtown parking, I would be greeted by at least 2 persons directing me into a parking space and expecting a tip when I return to my vehicle. They are usually unstable persons or junkies looking for a tip to buy drugs. At DSL junction, I would be greeted by at least 3-4 other beggars/homeless persons. At the Eccles stoplight, I would be confronted by another 2 beggars. At the Demerara Harbour Bridge junction, I would be bombarded by another 3-4 persons on both sides of the road. This brings the total to about 15-17 beggars per day that I am being bombarded by. This does not include those who harass to clean my windshield daily for a little tip. I don’t have a problem giving a small change or tip but this is too much!
This situation is getting out of control and I am calling on the government and Social Protection Ministry to get these persons off the streets and into a home. Some of them are mentally unstable and can cause harm to ordinary citizens. They can also be easily involved in an accident since they are usually at main junctions where traffic is very heavy. This also paints a very bad picture on our city and country. Imagine a tourist coming to Guyana for the first time to explore and is approached by 20 beggars on his first day tour. What will he think about Guyana? I’m calling on the authorities to have some pride in Guyana and get these minor things sorted out which is having a major impact on our image as a country.
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