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Updated: February 26, 2014 09:39 IST

Lack of basic facilities prompt juveniles to jump the fence

Kritika Sharma
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Lack of proper facilities at the Mukherjee Nagar juvenile home, which was initially meant to be a blind beggars’ home, was one of the primary reasons behind 44 inmates running away from it on Monday, according to those working at the Home.

Unfit

If the authorities are to be believed, the place is not fit for a juvenile home and this is one of the reasons why it had five “escapes” in the last four years. Conceptualised as a beggar’s home, it still retains the name of ‘Sewa Kutir’.

Mixing of offenders

“Since the year 2006, we have spent Rs. 3-4 crore for fixing this place but it still doesn’t get any better. There are no proper rooms in this place but only long dormitories. This leads to mixing up of all kind of offenders, as they all end up staying in a single room. Ideally, the serious offenders should be kept separate from the first-timers, which is not happening here due to the structure of the building,” said a senior official at the remand home.

“Also, there is no space for recreation for juveniles lodged here. They need to engage in positive activities like sports and vocational activities to keep their mind off from crime,” the officer added.

“So many times have we requested the authorities for a better campus but all our pleas went unheard,” he added.

Sent back

Another reason which is aggravating the problem for this juvenile home is that all the offenders who run away either from here or from the facility at Majnu ka Tila are being sent back here, the officer said.

Positive activities

Amod Kanth, founder of Prayas, which runs a juvenile home at Feroze Shah Kotla Road, concurred. “If we want to reform the children kept in remand homes, they need to be engaged in positive activities. This, however, is not happening in a number of juvenile homes including the Mukherjee Nagar facility. As per the guidelines of the Juvenile Justice Board, the inmates need to be educated, taught to stay hygienic, imparted professional skills and should be given good food.”

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