By: Misha Bakic
Now I must share this because I really don’t have anywhere else, in the hope that through the social network we raise awareness of sexual exploitation, paedophilia and begging.
Namely, the story is this. Last year, during the Leskovacke Rostiljijade (a huge annual meat grilling festival) a whole group of beggars were present. However, the problem is even bigger than it seems. It is not the local Roma who are begging for bread but the organized gangs that have made begging a business and a lifestyle. I am Roma and I know the people who generally beg on the street of out town. I saw a pimp in the middle of the street and he was taking money from those who beg and forcing them to return to begging! Now, in these days we have girls, who are extremely young who serve as dancers between the tables while older men of 60 years pass them money inappropriately! And that’s the shame of the city! While in any normal state, it would be seen as sexual exploitation of a girl and even a possible paedophilia.
My attitude has always been that a man must work hard as long as he lives and that he is ‘eating from the sweat of his whole being” and not to support himself by begging but yet I also know the desperate state of our country and the city in which I live. And I know there are individuals for whom this is the only way to provide food. But that is not the problem. This is the problem! I just can’t believe that 500.000 people who pass through our annual BBQ Festival each year, seeing a mother with a baby in her hand begging, while the baby is constantly asleep and absolutely nobody does anything about it?! How is it that this baby she is constantly asleep!? Is this “Mother ” on drugs, or sniffing, or has she drugged her child, or given it alcohol so that the little one is constantly in motionless sleep? To make matters worse, as a concerned citizen, I called the police to report a case. It was 12:30 at night and the phone rang and rang. Finally, the Police picked it up and he was angry with me for calling so late in the night. I told him all and his answer was quote ” So now you’re calling me in the middle of the night. So what do you want me to do? Call your Roma parties and let them take care of it.? I kept trying to point to the seriousness of the situation pointing out the possibility of sexual exploitation, and organized crime and their response was “Then come tomorrow and report it to me!”
I’m sorry! I’m sorry for those children and their futures! I’m sorry for my town and its irresponsibility and the lack of compassion of the local police. I’m sorry for my country that closes its eyes to the needs and the capitalizing and exploitation of innocence and the innocent! I am Sorry. So, so sorry.