Why my family stopped giving alms

Being emotional at heart many a times has its own consequences. Such are people in my family, having seen our own worse times, it does not take us longer than a second to feel for someone else in dire situations. Especially when other person seeking help has a kid tucked to the waist.

Since last two weeks, we are witnessing a rather strange increase in frequency of visitors seeking such help. It’s either someone who needs monetary help to travel to a holy place or for someone who can’t afford medicines for a life threatening disease. In either cases, they are looking for money than anything else actually. And surely not compassion.

Two months ago, an event that happened changed our perception of such kind of visitors. As such the news channels highlighting similar occurrences, sometimes deadly, elsewhere was not enough, a person came knocking at door to seek funds for a diety temple and was trying to convince my dad to donate 100 bucks. Since dad was alone at home he discouraged him first and said he doesn’t  have change and since he is alone at home he can’t go out and get the change to pay him. And immediately he offered to get the same done for my dad. Since he was talking in Malayalam (our second mother tounge) it was easy for dad to trust him and he handed over 500 rupee note. As you must have guessed it by now, he never returned.

With so many bad news around it and a bitter experience ourselves, we are cautious about such an encounter in future. Next some one walks up with a donation request, we simply deny it or pay a maximum 10 Rs. And when someone comes up with an request for help due to medical reasons, given the frequency is high for two weeks now, forced us to think twice about giving whatever money we feel like.

In essence, even if someone coming up is genuine, just coz some just seek money for their non-genuine reasons, we may end up not helping the needy.

With inflation at its peak and only threatening to grow north, when ever we plan our finances, paying alms and other such donation never is part of planning but are still part of our age old culture – and still exists – of sharing our wealth to the needy. More often than not, to those who pretend to be one that is.

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