Fighting juvenile delinquency: Meet these four boys who fought the system to turn their lives around
The Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra observation home in Yerawada is in terrible shape and the staff strength at the observation home currently stands at 47. The number of teachers also drastically reduced after the school education till Class 7, which was provided at the facility, was shut down in 2003. Despite these shortcomings, a few students have managed to turn their lives around.pune Updated: Dec 04, 2017 22:00 IST
The Juvenile Justice Board (JJB) in Pune, until recently, also had the highest number of case pendency among all the JJBs in the state. In the month of November, the Pune JJB had brought the number of pending cases down from 3,000 to 2,073, according to a member of the Resource Cell for Juvenile Justice (RCJJ), which operated with JJB.
The Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra observation home in Yerawada is in terrible shape and can hardly rehabilitate any inmate. The staff strength at the observation home currently stands at 47, inclusive of 19 care takers, four teachers, three clerks, two probation officers and others including the superintendent. Though the observation centre once had a school which could accommodate 400 students, it was stopped in 2003.
The number of teachers also drastically reduced after the school education till Class 7, which was provided at the facility, was shut down in 2003. The facility staff are now trying to forge an association with the National Institution of Open School (NIOS) to resume academics at the observation home.
There are various other difficulties faced by the system, which lacks execution of law and human resources. Despite these shortcomings, a few students have managed to turn their lives around. Here are a few of them:
Parth and Shivam (name changed)
The two identical twins had come on the radar of law enforcers several times before a case of attempted murder landed them in a long stint in the Jawaharlal Nehru Udyog Kendra Observation Home. At 17 years of age, the two were produced in JJB around April-March 2017, according to Ashwini Rasal of Resource Cell for Juvenile Justice (RCJJ). Parth and Shivam had dropped out of their first year Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from a local college, according to their parents, both medical practitioners.
“Before this case, they were caught in cases under Section 323 and 324 (voluntarily causing hurt) of Indian Penal Code (IPC). When the family moved to Hadapsar, the two got into the wrong company. Adult influence was high in their cases,” Rasal said.
The two were counselled by judge MD Kulkarni and RCJJ workers and they finally showed interest in vocational courses of electric work and furniture making. The two are now back at an engineering college in Aurangabad.
Kushal (name changed)
One of the men training at the police academy in Maharashtra is also one of the people who managed to turn around his life after being caught in a criminal case. Kushal was caught in a murder case in Saswad region of Maharashtra where he lived with his family. In June this year, Kushal was selected in the police training academy in Nashik, Ashwini said. But while on conditional bail, Kushal has to remain in touch with the JJB. He was acquitted from the murder charge after the chargesheet was filed and the case went to trial, Rasal said. Kushal, a Class 12 graduate, sought external training to prepare for police academy while his case was tried.
Vikram (name changed)
Vikram’s case was the one that shed light on the necessity for a place of safety in the state. Vikram, along with two others, was booked in a case for murder, in which he was an accused, 11 months before the case came to light. In the meantime, Vikram had turned 18 years of age but since he had allegedly committed the murder as a 17-year-old, his case was presented at JJB. The man who was killed in the case was from a well-known family in the small village in Indapur. The social backlash of the incident forced the families of Vikram and his friend Abhishek, who was one of the other two accused, to leave the village. Vikram signed up for a government scheme under National Employability Enhancement Mission (NEEM), which provides opportunities to earn and learn simultaneously. He was initially placed in Johnson and Johnson company in Mumbai. He was asked to leave from there after he got into a fight with a colleague. He was then provided with a job in the packaging department of a private company in Chakan, where he now works and earns for his family.