Beggars of Lahore - A Film by Sheba Saeed
Produced, directed and edited by Sheba Saeed, “Beggars of Lahore” is a journey into the streets of Lahore, Pakistan’s second largest city and cultural hub to discover what compels the beggars to beg and what measures have been placed by the Government and Non Governmental Organisations to assist the beggars.
The documentary examines the political, social, religious, economic reasons for begging as well as the growth of the beggar’s mafia including case studies of beggars and interviews Cricketer/Politician Imran Khan, Advocate/Human Rights activist Hina Jilani, Chief Minister of Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi amongst many others from both the public and private sphere as well as the general public.
Sheba chose the city of Lahore primarily due to a personal attachment. The city is the birthplace of her Father. Shocked and disturbed by the vast scale of begging in Lahore whilst on a family holiday in 2004, Sheba decided to research the topic, with regards to reasons for the begging problem, whether there is a justification for begging and lastly whether there is a solution. Beggars of Lahore is a case study of Lahore, Pakistan, however, begging is not a problem which is exclusive to Lahore. The begging phenomenon is a global problem affecting both developing and developed countries.