What's the buzz

Updated: 2012-09-03 08:12

(China Daily)

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Foshan city authorities in Guangdong province have banned begging in public places such as plazas, railway and bus stations, pedestrian overpasses, parks and scenic spots. This has sparked a debate, with some people supporting the move and others criticizing it for being inhumane. The views of China Daily mobile phone news readers follow:

Whether a city is civilized in the true sense of term is reflected in the way it treats its poor residents. Every city has beggars. They should be accepted without prejudice if they do not pose a threat to social security and order.

A READER, Guangzhou, Guangdong province

Begging is not that serious a problem as has been reported. But beggars do irritate people at tourist sites and on overpasses. It's common to see children pestering couples to buy flowers for double or triple the price. Such children are in the habit of hugging a woman's leg if her boyfriend or husband refuses to buy the flowers or whatever they are selling. Such behaviors have crossed all limits. In fact, they are a public nuisance. Therefore, I support the ban on beggars.

CHECHE, Foshan, Guangdong province

I lived in Foshan for two years and quite agree with the solution, because beggars in Foshan are quite different from those in other cities. Though some of them are old and disabled, most of them choose begging as their profession despite being healthy. They behave rudely if they fail to get anything from passers-by. Once when I was walking on a street, a boy who I had earlier seen begging tried to steal my cell phone.

But before imposing a carpet ban on beggars, the government should find ways to solve the problems of the needy and avoid giving rise to more social problems.

A READER, Guangzhou, Guangdong province

The majority of beggars are healthy and have the ability to work just like any normal person. They can work if they want to. The seemingly inhuman policy can in fact "force" them to start working and change their life altogether. So the ban is not necessarily bad.

BILLLEE, Yangzhou, Jiangsu province

The existence of beggars harms the image of a city to a certain degree. But the fundamental reason why people beg has much to do with the lack of reasonable city management. The ban on beggars in Foshan is undoubtedly a face-saving move by the city authorities. It is more urgent and important for local governments to improve the education system and effectively make a difference in the lives of homeless people. After all, it is the obligation of governments to protect the legal rights and interests of the disadvantaged groups.

WOSHIDAISY, Yan'an, Shaanxi province

Shelters in cities can to some extent guarantee food and clothing to beggars and provide necessary vocational training for them to seek employment. It would be unnecessary to ban people from begging in public places if measures are taken to get them jobs.

A READER, Shenzhen, Guangdong province

A complete ban on begging could lead to potential social instability and run counter to the principle of urban harmony and development. Therefore, it is better to start by devising and improving relevant policies. For example, the authorities could provide material aid for beggars. Only economic development can bridge the wealth gap and prevent more people from begging. The process, of course, would take time.

ANAN, Beijing

(China Daily 09/03/2012 page9)