Types of Sri Lankan Beggars!

There is no such thing as a taking a zen walk around the city. Between the maniacal honking, the clamouring over enthusiastic street hawkers, pedestrians rushing to and fro and crows cawing away, there’s always a hodge podge of activity. But if navigating and circumnavigating these obstacles seems like a handful, then dealing with the omnipresent beggars is a different ballgame entirely. Gone are the days when people begged for genuine reasons. Nowadays, begging has become a full-fledged business complete with turf wars and con artists galore. Which is why you may or may not really be surprised to know that your neighborhood beggar probably makes more money than you.

The Storytellers 

They once had a mansion, a PhD and lived the high life, but then lady luck gave ’em the boot and now here they are. These beggars are usually well dressed with an excellent command of English. They often claim to need money for medicines or simply just for food.

The Thugs 

They will use intimidation and aggression to terrorize you into coughing up some money. But God forbid you give them anything less than Rs. 20, they will throw it back at you with choice curse words for added effect. These are the types of beggars you’re most likely to pay off for fear of your life.

The Families 

Usually found with one or more children of varying ages, they will follow you to your vehicle or until you’ve walked far enough away from their territory, tugging at your clothes and your belongings claiming to not have eaten in days when you just spotted them enjoying a meal less than 5 minutes ago.

The “Handicapped” 

Remember the guy on crutches who seemed to have lost half his left leg that you just gave Rs. 50 out of sympathy to? There he is, running on two whole legs to catch the bus to get home. Many of these beggars could easily score Oscars for their excellent acting chops with brownie points for faking disability so convincingly.

The Roadie 

These beggars hold up traffic and continually rap on your car windows until you give them money just so they would go away. Some of them even have stuff they will persistently attempt to sell you, because your ‘no’ really means ‘yes’. You just don’t know it yet.

The Drug Dealer 

They’re not really beggars but, who’re they to not make hay while the sun shines, right? These dealers impersonate beggars to they can sell their wares under the guise of accepting money from sympathetic drivers.

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