Cell Phone Beggary Spreading in Peshawar

Post by Karim Khan

‘Do you have balance in your cell phone?’ is the question that more and more people are facing this in Peshawar every day. This question comes from a number of different people, especially from taxi drivers, and if the answer is ‘Yes’, the next thing he/she receives is a request for allowing to make a short call on his/her cell phone. This new kind of ‘beggary’ is spreading in the city and disturbing passengers and others in general on a daily basis in Peshawar.

Most frequently, such requests for using cell phones are made by taxi drivers who ask the passengers about their cell phone balance. Out of altruistic feelings, or just bound by social obligation, many passengers concede  the request and let their cell phone be used for making a call or sending a text message. This is bothersome for the passengers, especially when they see that the requested call was not that short after all.

But taxi drivers are not the only people indulging in this kind of beggary; rather, people from other walks of life, including students are accustomed of asking for free calls/messages. The bothersome aspect of the issue is certainly not about friends or acquaintances but from people who are entirely strangers.

These requests also come from people who happen to be seated at the same table in a restaurant or café. Since refusing outright is generally considered harsh or niggardly demeanor, the addressee has to lend his/her cell phone even if it feels highly undesirable.

There is also a concern about the sharing of one’s cell phone number with a stranger. Cell phone services show the number of the caller/sms sender on the recipient’s mobile phone. Thus, lending someone your cell phone makes you vulnerable to receiving uninvited missed calls, calls, or text messages.

In addition, given the alarmingly high incidence of crime and terrorism in the country, there is always the risk of getting your cell phone in unsafe hands. The public needs to be educated on his issue and cell phone companies should create awareness against cell phone beggary.

Via Insta Blogs