Juvenile Delinquency in India
By Mihir Kulkarni
Image for representational purpose only. ( Express Illustration)
Juvenile delinquency is a serious problem in India, and there are a variety of reasons why it continues to persist. It is important to examine the causes, risk factors, and effectiveness of potential solutions in order to best address this problem and protect youth from engaging in this kind of behavior.
Some risk factors that drive delinquency include poverty, domestic abuse, and discrimination. Rural communities specifically face problems including gender restrictions, limited engagement opportunities, and peer pressure. A combination of these factors can lead to serious problems developing within the community’s youth, including delinquency.
Previously tested approaches to addressing youth delinquency include mentoring programs, volunteer opportunities, and law enforcement. An example of these programs being effective include the Sarbat Da Bhala program in Punjab, where children were given the opportunity to join clubs that helped them life skills and have fun, such as vocal music clubs. As a result, juvenile delinquency decreased by 40%. Another case study that showed the benefits of these types of solutions involves the Baal Bandhu program in Maharashtra, where the creation of peer support groups led to a 30% decrease in delinquency incidents involving juveniles.
There are a variety of ways in which these findings can be applied in Vadamanappakam. Some methods that have already been implemented include public surveillance and risk group identification, which was conducted during the India trip with the identification of adolescent boys as a group at risk. More direct methods to address these problems would likely focus on encouraging youth to participate in enriching extracurriculars and educating children about the problems that arise with juvenile delinquency.
By implementing some kind of community engagement programs for children, such as leadership committees or after-school clubs, the risks created by various factors in this rural community can be reduced. By engaging youth in healthy and productive activities such as sports, learning, and community service, the harmful effects on both the youth and the rest of the community can be mitigated.