Kaieteur News – There is a fellow who begs at, at least, two of the junctions with traffic lights in the city. One of his legs is being used as a support stump. It is stiff as a log and bent inwards near the ankle. This normally happens when a broken or fractured leg is not given sufficient time to heal in the cast. When weight is thrust upon the not fully healed leg, the bone bends like a piece of wire, leaving an impairment which can only be fixed through corrective surgery.
Instead of checking himself into a hospital, the strapping man stands at busy junctions soliciting alms. He is animated and presses motorists to give him something all the while hobbling around using a piece of stick and his crooked leg as a crutch. It is a terrible sight to see how he is causing more harm to himself by putting his injured and now deformed leg under so much pressure. But that is his gig; the means through which he bums for a living.
At another junction, where it appears an entire family camps out. There is a big woman who appears to be the director of operations. An old lady, now bent, goes from vehicle to vehicle, begging. Others are peddling wares. One youngster cleans your windscreen in return for a donation.
He came up unsolicited to my vehicle. He did a nice job, unsolicited; cleaning my windscreen. But he had nothing to get because no service was requested.
At another junction people are selling stuff. One man is selling water. Another is selling air fresheners. A woman even sells cosmetics.
The same thing obtains at one of the busiest junctions in the city. There is a woman who has a baby hooked to her hip, seeking to attract sympathy so that persons’ wallets would loosen and they would each give her a ‘freck.’ All day she used to have this poor, bedraggled child in the scorching sun while she goes vehicle to vehicle begging. Sometimes she wears a mask and other times she does not.
The baby is no longer around but she is pregnant again. She cannot maintain one and now she is bearing another.
There are children who can be seen begging at junctions. The Child Care Protection Agency should be picking up these children and questioning their parents.
At yet another junction there is an old man. He too is in the windscreen cleaning business. When you drive up to the junction, he has a bottle from which he sprays a substance onto your front windscreen while hurriedly cleaning the windscreen, all the while standing in front of your vehicle. He does not move even when the light changes. It is his way of blocking your path so that he can ‘extort’ a raise from you.
One man told me that he never stops these cleaners when they come and begin to clean his windscreen. He accepts it as a free service since he refuses to pay for anything which he does not solicit.
The public should be protected from these extortionists. They should not be there because no one should be coming so close to you during a pandemic, mask or no mask, to solicit a little help. Children should not be seen begging at these junctions. If you do not request a service, no one has a right to impose that service on you.
Those who are begging, selling and providing services at our junctions are putting their lives at risk. They are engaged in life-threatening activities and it is for the authorities, however sympathetic they might be to these persons, to put a stop to them. No one should be allowed to sell at any junction where there are traffic lights.
On Thursday a pensioner was run over by a vehicle while begging at one city junction. It was said that he emanated from an area which is tens of miles away from where he usually begs. He is far from home and clearly has become a ‘professional’ beggar.
He opted to put his life at risk. And the driver of the vehicle which ran over him now has the problem of being arrested and no doubt detained by the police while those who are putting their own lives in danger through their begging and selling and soliciting at junctions, are given a free pass… during a pandemic at that.
(The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.)
May 10, 2021Kaieteur News – Recently, Jamie McDonald; owner of Guyanas leading gym equipment and supplement supplier, Fitness Express, presented a sponsorship cheque to President of the Guyana...
May 10, 2021
May 10, 2021
May 09, 2021
May 09, 2021
May 09, 2021
Kaieteur News – APNU/WPA politician, Tacuma Ogunseye, published a letter on race relations in the Stabroek News of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]