I heard a whispering behind me. Turning my head slightly, I saw no one so I walked on. Then i heard it again. This time a distinct "excuse me...". I turned around fully and an Indian guy was walking towards me. Since i was outside raffles hotel, I thought he might be a lost tourist.

"miss... i haven't eaten for days.. can you give me some money ..." I gave a tiny smile and shook my head. Yet as I walked on, guilt crept in. Images of his bloodshot eyes and red gums flashed in my mind... the more I walked, the more guilty I felt.

These days we are bombarded with tissue sellers, music playing buskers or beggars. hawker centres, bus-stops, underground passes, mrt stations etc, they are everywhere. not to mention, flag donations every sat. i give when i can but there are days when i buy tissues from one auntie only to encounter another a few feet away. what makes one auntie more special than another? i have a choice of buying more tissues or walking away. but when i choose to walk away, inevitably guilt sinks in. I start feeling worse and worse about myself till I comfort myself saying I can give to the auntie the next day.

My priorities and motives are not be right all the time but surely there is a better way of helping. people tell me about syndicates who sell tissues through disabled people and pocket most of the cash. if this was so, how do i give knowing the auntie gets to keep the money and not some gang? sending money to organisations requires research to make sure all donations go to the right places. This is how it gets when some black sheep help themselves to public kindness. then there are the smaller charities that do not take government funds, how do they survive if donors become numbed and turned off by the numerous buskers, flag donations and embezzlement? really, i don't have a solution to it all.

as for the indian guy, i sent a mail to SINDA. I hope they can help. If not, to pass the information along to someone who can. There is my contact number if anybody needs to verify details. I hope the Indian guys gets medical help and food. sighs.
Labels: | edit post
2 Responses
  1. Anonymous Says:

    hi P

    I dont think you need to worry about the Indian man. He most probably would spend any money you gave him(if you actually gave) on some cheap stout and not have gotten any food anyway. True, I guess I am on of those numbed by all these "poor and destitute souls" but then, take heart. The people who really need help do not resort to begging. It's those who want a quick buck that do. And they're usually never starving.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    anyway forgot to leave my name...I guess you would have guessed anyway, coz only 3 of us would call you p......plate. heh.