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Letter to the Editor of a newspaper on the issue of beggar menace.

Letter to the Editor of a newspaper on the issue of beggar menace.

1 November 1998

The Editor

“The Hindu” 


Dear Sir,

I seek an opportunity through the columns of your renowned newspaper, to express my opinions on the rapidly increasing beggar population, which is causing great inconvenience to the city’s general public.

It is an irritating paradox that, as the city prospers and progresses, the numbers of its beggars increase. Perhaps it is so because, the increasing generosity of the people, due to their prosperity, is making begging a profitable occupation. Besides, certain unscrupulous people, realizing the potential of begging to generate money, may have transformed begging into a racket. From the confident manner in which the beggars go about their business, it is clear that they have the tacit support of the authorities.

Whatever the causes of begging and whatever the ways in which it is practiced, it is the ordinary citizen on the street, in public places or in homes, who suffers its ill effects. The usual argument, that the people themselves encourage begging, does not carry much weight because rarely do we see people pursuing beggars to offer money. On the contrary, it is the beggars who pursue people and cause inconvenience to them. Beggars often harass those that are unwilling to oblige them. They make up their inability for physical intimidation, by showering abuse and curses on the hapless people.

Begging also tarnishes the hospitable image of the city and keeps tourists away. In the latest trend of tourism promotion, such possibilities can scarcely be tolerated,

Hence, it is time that the authorities took such measures as would discourage begging in the city. The police personnel, responsible for ensuring law and order, should be given additional powers and responsibility to crack down on beggars. Exemplary punishment, sufficient to deter begging, should be meted out to the culprits. The city’s charitable organizations should be encouraged to help those among the beggars that really need help, while the authorities get tough with the others.

Thanking you,

Yours faithfully,

(Signature & Name)

(The writer’s address)

Note: Letters to newspapers should be as brief as possible. The usual permissible limit is 300 words. The specimen above contains 314.) But often, letters are compressed to even below this limit. In the above letter, the first paragraph may be totally eliminated. As for the remaining portion, the focus of attention will almost entirely be on the final paragraph containing the writer’s suggestions for eliminating begging. If the space constraint is severe enough, only the final part of the letter may be accepted.



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