A Blantyre-based Christian organisation, the Malawi Spirituals and Physical Organisation of the Blind (MSPOB), has embarked on a campaign to mobilise resources to fight the begging culture among people with visual impairments and blindness.
MSPOB chairperson Gilbert Mbughi said his organisation is concerned that begging is fast becoming a ‘noble’ profession among physically-challenged people in towns and cities.
Mbughi, a blind resident of Bangwe in Blantyre, said apart from being a nuisance to other people on the streets, visually-impaired beggars violate the rights of their children who act as guides in the begging endeavours.
“Our major concern is that while the blind beggars have no future to worry about, they are moulding scoundrels for the nation through the children who are innocently guiding their parents to beg,” he said.
Mbughi said this is why the organisation was formed to respond to the increasing number of blind beggars on the streets of major towns, cities and rural growth centres.
He said MSPOB will employ a holistic approach in the fight against begging by empowering parents with the means to live decent lives.
“We are aware that begging is their only means of earning a living. Therefore, we can’t just tell them off the streets without providing them with the necessary support,” said Mbughi.
He said MSPOB will embark on a mass education campaign for children whose parents have visual impairments to protect and promote their right to education.
Mbughi said this would lay a strong foundation for their self-reliance in future.