Poverty, not lack of education, turning kids to crime: Study | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Poverty, not lack of education, turning kids to crime: Study

A government study, released on Tuesday, has indicated that the biggest factor driving children to crime was poverty, Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Oct 10, 2012 02:02 IST
Chetan Chauhan

A government study, released on Tuesday, has indicated that the biggest factor driving children to crime was poverty.

The study — titled Children in India-2012 — stated that around 57% of the 33,887 children involved in crime last year belonged to families with an annual income lower than Rs. 25,000. “There is a class bias in registration of cases against children,” said Raj Mangal Prasad of NGO Pratidhi. “Many offences by middle-class and upper middle-class children go unreported.”

The data, released by the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, shows that a majority of the children had committed the crime for money.

They were involved in 5,320 cases of theft and 2,609 cases of burglary in 2011 — over double the number from last decade.



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Prasad said that in most cases, the children were induced to commit the crime by adults because they were less likely

to be suspected. A Delhi Police officer said many auto-theft gangs in the capital recruit children.

Lack of education, however, could not be cited as one of the reasons for the increase because around 31% of the juvenile offenders were found to be students in primary or higher secondary-level schools. “Illiterate children accounted for only 11% of the number,” the report said.

A 2008 study by the Childline Foundation of India had stated that children from poor families are at a higher risk of getting sucked into crime, primarily due to lack of education and adverse socio-adverse conditions.