Give a Man a Fish, He Eats It Today Teach Him to Fish, He Eats for A Lifetime
This famous saying is applicable to all of us. We must learn to earn our living and not depend on what is given to us by others — it does not last long. One usually feels pity and offer alms or food to beggars. But that will help him for the moment and again he continues to beg. Charity done is good but charity to the deprived must ensure that they learn some work to be able to sustain themselves in the future. The best example one can think of is what the great Gandhian, late Baba Amte contributed. He worked ‘with’ and ‘for’ leprosy patients whom society never cared for. He could have easily contributed money and left them but he wanted them to live with dignity. So he started “Anand van” where they were taught to do work (agriculture, weaving, packing and so on) and earn a living so that they need not depend on others. He made them able and productive people, who could earn their livelihood for a life time. So, satisfying a person’s/ poor man’s need or want is a temporary solution where as teaching him a work to be able to earn, is the permanent solution. Providing means or opportunities to earn a living will solve the begging problem in cities. We must try to rehabilitate destitute people and help them acquire simple skills to satisfy their hunger for life time. So instead of giving a fish we must teach fishing so that the poor man is self reliant.