I was waiting at Jhansi station recently for the train to Agra with my husband when an old beggar woman approached with a child, jangling a tin with a picture of a Hindu god on it. So,we gave them 20 rupees and thought that would be the end of it. How wrong we were. Clearly, the woman was dissatisfied with the amount given and set about humiliating us by causing a huge scene - screaming at the top of her voice and shoving the money and tin in our faces for the next 10 minutes. Were we not waiting for a train and laden with luggage we would have walked away, but instead we just stayed put and ignored her. I was even more furious though when all the men on the platform gathered around us in a circle about 4 men deep and began laughing at whatever this woman was saying. No one intervened and I felt very intimidated. Even when the woman moved on they stayed around us in a circle for the next 5 minutes smiling. It was a very unpleasant experience.
I suppose what I want to know is if anyone has ever had a similar experience and if others would recommend NEVER giving to beggars as a general rule.