I witnessed something strange today ,a myth breaking reality. A patient walked into our reception with her entourage.
The watchmen identified them as beggars, so he refused to allow them to beg inside the 4 walls of
the centre. But the lady said she came to get a test done.
She approached the billing team for a booking, before wrapping up they were waiting for her to ask
for some discount, or produce a BPL card, based on which they can offer her some concession.
Instead she took out crisp rs.100 notes and made the payment. They were shocked as they are used to
requests for concessions by almost everyone. They found it amusing that a beggar did not ask for discount, so they roped me into the loop.
The doctor while doing the scan asked her about the guardian, as it was a pregnancy scan. She said he went to work. he asked her about the work of her spouse. she said he is a beggar, he is busy so he dropped her and went for begging, as it was peak hour at signal, he did not want to miss out on it.
he was a beggar and he was choosing the location.
Yes beggars can be choosers too.
I talked to her at length about how she became a beggar , her birth marriage work…etc
the gist is
1) beggars are beggars only when they are begging, at other places they behave as normally as anyone of us
2) She did not ask for discount, as she understands professionalism.
3) She believed in dignity of labor, was not at all ashamed of her profession and did not make any attempt to hide it.
4) When I asked her “is it ok to be begging”, she said “it is as difficult as any other work, by accepting alms; I am actually accepting people’s sins”. I was stumped at her knowledge of the psychology of her clients. I gave her concession in a lure to do away with few of my sins too. we are
sold into this theory since childhood.
5) clicked her pic with her permission sharing it. a little bit of enlightenment can truly come from
various sources including beggars.