|Sadhus at Jagdish Mandir Hindu Temple in Udaipur, Rasjathan|
|Tibetan Refugee from Kham Region Giving Coins to Indian Monks in McleodGanj, Himachal Pradesh on Saga Dawa, Buddhism's Most Holy Day|
Lepers and other handicapped persons, such as the blind, frequently resort to begging.
|Women in Rags with Babies Waiting for Tourists in McleodGanj, Himachal Pradesh|
|Young beggar in McleodGanj, Himchal Pradesh Watching a Tibetan Tradeswoman|
Some beggars are aggressive and annoying, very impersonal, just out to work their scams and make their money. Others seem eager to interact with all who pass and show what seems to be sincere gratitude.
As a part time India resident (16 non-consecutive months over 2 years) who has discussed the issue repeatedly with other expats and locals, it's interesting to observe the different aspects of this complex situation and how both natives and tourists cope with it.
“Experts” recommend the best way to deal with begging is to ignore it. If you are going to be in India for a long time, I do recommend you try this. While the relative poverty and illness around you is disheartening, giving handouts to everyone with a sad story does nothing to help in the long run. They advise donating to established trusted local charities rather than to individuals.