In Thailand like every other country in the area there are street beggars. Some are no doubt in rough shape, and others are just kids. However in a lot of cases they never will see any of the money you give them.
It is a reality that there are people in need and do beg, but not in the Thai parts of town or upcountry. Simply put they are all around what would be called the tourist area or where foreigners may live. Seeing is those parts of town are generally up scale and more expensive, it does leave you to wonder where these beggars actually live. Certainly not in the upscale neighborhoods as they simply could not afford the rent. That also leaves the question how do they get there.
The fact of the matter is they work for gangs who take all the money away from them at the end of the day. The beggars are delivered by vans and placed in key high foot traffic areas.
To the trained eye they are easy to spot. Little kids with cute adorable puppies is one obvious one. The scene is meant to trigger the animal lover to open their wallet. The puppies grow quickly so once they get about 12 weeks old, they are replaced with younger puppies.
The amputee beggars are also a clear sign. They do their best to look helpless, but the same question applies being, how do they get there from where they live. If they are truly as bad as they make themselves to be, walking would be a huge risk as Bangkok traffic stops for nobody. Pedestrians do not have the right of way as in the United States. In Thailand, what ever is bigger has the right of way on Bangkok streets. There have been numerous deaths and injuries of people crossing in the zebra striped crosswalks when the traffic had a red light.
Children with infants is another easy to spot ploy. Simply ask yourself why a 12 year old girl has a baby who is not even 1 year old with her. Certainly the baby is not her baby. Also note that the babies are generally sleeping as they have been given something to make them sleep.
The singing blind beggars are for the most part the real deal. They often have a family member with them, and walk around singing with a small amplifier and microphone hung from their neck. The laws in Thailand tend to discriminate against the blind and deaf.
The fake monks are also beggars who only have a monk’s robe. They are not disabled, they are actually criminals. The fake monks prey on the unknowing who don’t know monks are prohibited to beg. All that money goes for beer and whisky later, and none of that goes to anything closely related to Buddhism. Simply give this bunch nothing and don’t be afraid to challenge them. Pull out your camera if you are not sure. If they don’t want their photo taken then they are fake as photos are criminal evidence against them. A real monk would have no problem being photographed.
So how do you fill your humane need to help these people? There is only one way to do that and that is to give them food. Their gang bosses can’t take that away from them. If their gang bosses do want it, the are more than welcome to the post digested remains. This is truly the only way the person you are giving things to actually gets it for themselves.