In Ramazan, people do charity as much as they can. People of other religions also give considerable amounts in charity on their respective religious occasions. A study by the Pakistan Center for Philanthropy (PCP) shows that Pakistanis donate around 240 billion rupees (over $2 billion) a year to charity, which is more than one percent of the country’s GDP . Funds are also allocated to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) for various causes, but the question is: are the funds and charity being used appropriately? The answer is no.

Although there are countless charities in the country, there are people who need the basics and necessities of life and their numbers keep growing. The misuse of charity and funds is not the only conundrum. Professional beggars are also an obstacle to the proper use of these funds. We also notice fundraising campaigns for cancer hospitals, thalassemia patients and many other social aid organizations. Large numbers of people can be seen seeking help outside of mosques and other places of worship, especially during the last 10 days of Ramazan.

Cancer hospitals, thalassemia recovery centers and many wellness institutions use these donations for worthy causes. But do the people who stand outside places of worship with their medical reports or the medical records of their loved ones as proof that they are in need and asking for donations really deserve charity?

A majority of these people do not deserve it and violate the rights of those who are truly in need. Today, begging has become a profession. Due to increasing poverty, many people were forced to collect alms to survive. Although many social welfare organizations try to counter this, they may remain unsuccessful. Without an adequate strategy to tackle this problem, the government remains in a pickle.

The media should play their part through public awareness campaigns to this effect. We must make sure before giving money to help the needy that the person receiving the charity really deserves it. The government should also take necessary measures to protect valuable donations from misuse and waste, as a large portion of the truly deserving people are present in the country and waiting for help.

Ibtasam Ali Ansar
Mandi Bahauddin

Posted in Dawn, May 16, 2022