It was Temple Fair time at Xishan county, Nanchang city, Jiangxi Province. The fair attracted people from all over the region to offer incense and pray at the temple. Along with hundreds of visitors, came beggars. There were so many beggars that the staff at the temple had to set up temporary relief stations to host them. In addition to shelter, the temple also provided free food and water to these beggars. All sounds very heart-warming if there weren’t bars around these temporary relief stations.
Yesterday, Mop.com, a dynamic online BBS in China, featured a set of photos where beggars at a Temple Fair in Nanchang were put behind bars with only their begging bowls out. According to staff working at the temple, the bars were to prevent illegal baggers from harassing visitors at the fair. Many visitors expressed understanding of the decision, but many others simply stared at the scene, trying to wrap their heads around what’s happening.
Netizens’ reactions to the story are also mixed. While most thought it was inhumane to treat beggars as if they were animals and it was a violation of basic human rights, some did comment that the temple was meant to do good by giving out free food and water, and that they can understand why the bars were there, though they’re a bit disturbing.