In Soul of the Beast, John encounters beggars in Calcutta, India. Below is a discussion about beggars with quotes from Wikipedia .
Beggars are typically people who are unable to work because of personal problems such as handicaps, injuries and mental illness or because of a lack of jobs. They beg to obtain the basics of life: food and money.
In the past, governments helped beggars by forcing them into workhouses, “a state-operated institution where those unable to obtain other employment were forced to work in often grim conditions in exchange for a small amount of food. The welfare state of the 20th century [has] greatly reduced the number of beggars by directly providing for the basic necessities of the poor from state funds.”