A bet­ter to­mor­row for ju­ve­nile delin­quents

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times City - Sak­shi.Chand @times­group.com

New Delhi: Sal­man was a ruf­fian as a teenager and of­ten ap­pre­hended by po­lice for petty crimes. As a mi­nor, he had even pelted stones and par­tic­i­pated in protests over the Kar­bala land is­sue in south Delhi. Last year, when he was caught, he wasn’t ar­rested. In­stead, he was en­rolled in an emer­gency med­i­cal tech­ni­cian (EMT) course as part of a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­gramme.

Two days ago, Sal­man, who is now 25, was among 150 youths who had been of­fered jobs as per their vo­ca­tional abil­i­ties. This job fair was or­gan­ised by Delhi Po­lice un­der the Yuva scheme through which ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers, vic­tims of crime, school dropouts with an in­cli­na­tion to­wards crime and vic­tims of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence are given a chance to learn and en­gage them­selves in bet­ter ac­tiv­i­ties. TOI spoke to a few youths who have been brought into the main­stream.

“I have been in and out of po­lice sta­tions sev­eral times, but my proud mo­ment was when I joined the EMT course to pro­vide ba­sic med­i­cal help to peo­ple. Ear­lier, we were told to pelt stones ev­ery time we spot­ted a man in uni­form, but it is them who have changed my life,” Sal­man said.

The re­formed man lost his par­ents at a young age. His three sis­ters are mar­ried and he lives in a re­li­gious place alone. “One of my crim­i­nal cases is now over. An­other one is still in court. I had to go to Ti­har Jail in con­nec­tion with one of them. I now be­lieve that, though it is dif­fi­cult, even crim­i­nals can change,” Sal­man said.

Waqar, who is now 21, and his friend, Manoj (19), were both in­volved in a mo­lesta­tion case lodged in Jan­uary. Two days af­ter com­mit­ting the crime, they sur­ren­dered at a po­lice sta­tion. Waqar hes­i­tates while speak­ing about his case say­ing he has buried his past. “SHO Anil Sharma, who took me into cus­tody, in­tro­duced me to the ma’am who con­ducts the EMT course. I have four broth­ers and a sis­ter. When I got the job, their hap­pi­ness had no lim­its. I have changed and would like to con­tinue this way,” he added.

Fol­low­ing in the foot­steps of other ju­ve­nile of­fend­ers, Manoj also took up a course and ended up get­ting a job of­fer on Tues­day.

Ra­jeev Ku­mar, the train­ing part­ner with Delhi Po­lice, said it is dif­fi­cult to en­sure that the ju­ve­nile delin­quents do not leave the course mid­way or get dis­tracted. “They have all been crim­i­nals or vic­tims of a crime. There are times when some want to give up and stop com­ing, but we try to keep them glued to the course,” he added.

“Out of the 150 youths, 83 were men and 67 women. In the past two years, we have trained 9,000 peo­ple of which 6,500 have been em­ployed,” said joint com­mis­sioner (south­ern range) Devesh Chan­dra Sri­vas­tava.

(All­name­sha ve­been changed­to­pro­tect­thei­den­ti­ty­ofthey­ouths)

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