Skip Navigation

What To Give/What not to Give...??? Poor Children in India

Travel Forums Asia What To Give/What not to Give...??? Poor Children in India

1. Posted by si403 (Full Member 130 posts) 8y

Hi, I am going to India and have thought about taking old clothes etc to give to the poor if I have enough room in my pack.. Im sure ill have some room.

What things have you found they appreciate..? I hear they like pens/pencils etc but in your experience what do they seems most enjoyed as a gift..?

Thians for any help.

2. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

I haven't been to India, but I am sure the people there are the same as in other parts of the world I have been to where there is a lot of poverty. I always carry food in small packets with me wherever I go, for example biscuits are good and food is always appreciated. the children of course will always like sweets too, so carry a few sweets and biscuits and also perhaps offer to buy some food from one of the street stalls if you see a needy adult. This way you will be helping both the needy adult and the street vendor.

3. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 8y

Please don't go giving sweets, food, clothes or whatever to children on the street. When they see Westerns, who in comparison are stinking rich, handing out freebies it actually encourages them to beg. You see it all over the world were parents make their kids beg to tourists because that's where the big money is. Wanting to donate money or necessities to those less fortunate is absolutely commendable and a great way to give back to the countries you visit. But please give to local charity organizations who know where the money is needed and can use it appropriately. I think giving change to beggers on the street is ok, as it's seems very much a part of their culture to do so in India. But, find out what is an appropriate amount (the same as the locals) and don't give more just because are a rich tourists, which again encourages them to see begging to tourists as a job option.

4. Posted by Archieq (Inactive 6 posts) 8y

Good that you want to help the needy.

First - when you change money or take out money at the ATM, change into a bundle of 10 rupees. Very useful. (approx 1/5 of a dollar).

Beggar children - dont give more than one 10 rupee note.

Enjoy your trip.

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 8y

Quoting Degolasse

Please don't go giving sweets, food, clothes or whatever to children on the street. When they see Westerns, who in comparison are stinking rich, handing out freebies it actually encourages them to beg. You see it all over the world were parents make their kids beg to tourists because that's where the big money is. Wanting to donate money or necessities to those less fortunate is absolutely commendable and a great way to give back to the countries you visit. But please give to local charity organizations who know where the money is needed and can use it appropriately. I think giving change to beggers on the street is ok, as it's seems very much a part of their culture to do so in India. But, find out what is an appropriate amount (the same as the locals) and don't give more just because are a rich tourists, which again encourages them to see begging to tourists as a job option.

Unfortunately begging in very poor countries IS a job option as there are no other options! Remember there is no free schooling and benefits in most of these countries so begging is the only option. It is up to governments to sort out the poverty of a country, not tourists, so if you see people who are genuinely in need then please DO give to them. The long term option of giving to a charity is obviously a very good one but it won't feed that kids belly that day! Giving food is a great thing to do. Don't give money as they will probably never see that money again as they will have to give it to a ringleader, but with food they can eat it straight away and they will be genuinely thankful to you for that.

6. Posted by Paul3879 (Respected Member 212 posts) 8y

I totally agree with post 5! Don't give anything apart from food. Most children work for someone else and the money will do them no good. Clothes area waste of time and room in your pack. If you have no food and want to give something then buy off the street vendors and share your food. Try not to come across as a rich tourist, try to come across as a friend.

7. Posted by baxter1495 (Inactive 6 posts) 8y

Keep in mind also, that children who receive money from Westerners on the street may unfortunately have it stolen from them as soon as they round the corner. It may be safer for the child to receive food rather than money.

Have a good trip!