Juvenile Delinquency — A Rising Evil

The process of maturing is one that no individual is oblivious to. While this process is credited with the ability to foster and shape young minds, it also offers an enticing opportunity, to blossom into anything probable to imagination. The period of adolescence, wavering between the nostalgia of childhood, and the preparation for adulthood, is often coupled with experiences and responsibilities. The journey from a child to an adult, takes a rather long halt at a juncture called the teenage, which is the deciding factor of an individual’s future. When perturbed by the obstacles of anguish, fear, anxiety or stress, some people face them with strength. However, there are also a set of teenagers who turn to crime as a ray of comfort, which leads to the emergence of juvenile delinquents.

Juvenile delinquency, which refers to the committing of crimes by children under the age of 18, is a harsh reality that the society is facing today. In today’s contemporary age, juveniles are divulged to be involved in an array of crimes ranging from frivolous ones like theft, to abhorrent ones like murder and rape. Juvenile delinquency has slowly and steadily become a rampant trend and society as a whole is wretched due to its far reaching consequences. However, it is imperative to understand that merely being aware of an issue that is prevalent in society, is not an ideal way of dealing with it. In order to eradicate a problem, at its very root, it is essential to identify all the paths that lead to it.

So what are the dominant factors, conducive in the existence of this social evil? It is fair to say that no individual is born a criminal. The social and cultural environment that one resides in, plays a substantial role in fabricating not only his personality, but also his actions and reactions. Today, we inhabit a society that is highly transitional in nature. The social institutions of family and peer groups have undergone drastic changes, with the traditional ideologies of relationships experiencing relentless disintegration. Social relationships are considered a critical part of a child’s growth years. When these relationships begin to lose their personal touch in the lives of young minds, they often discover solace in the arms of crime.

Studies have revealed that an increase in population, has made a direct impact on the rate of juvenile crimes in India. The exponential growth of population, has led to the emergence of larger social groups, thus abbreviating the opportunity to have one on one interactions. These restraints on socialization, compel minors to adapt any behavior that is appropriate according to them. Through years of research, an undeniable link between juvenile delinquency and poverty has formed. It is believed that children hailing from poor families are 2.5 times more likely to fall prey to crimes, as compared to children from affluent families. The innumerable cases of juveniles from poverty-stricken families have acquainted the society with the concept of “need based delinquency.” It has proved that necessity knows no law. All rules and regulations for a noble living, seem minuscule to a famished individual. Strong dominance of media, comprising of violent content, indifference, ignorance and denial are just a few more sources that stem the tree of teenage crimes in India.

Identifying the problem and deciphering the causes; is that all that is necessary for such a pervasive malady to vanish into thin air? The onus of resolving delinquency is dispensed between parents, schools, peers and the government. With the involvement of so many entities, the chance of acquiring a solid solution, seems rather difficult. Steps need to be taken at personal, governmental and societal levels, to see a distinct change in the situation. Family, which is the first immediate environment of any child, acts as a role model and deeply influences a child’s behavior. A display of positive and attentive actions by members of a family, will in turn allure a child towards positivity and protect him from the sinister world of crime.

At a larger level, the government needs to work on schemes and policies to eliminate poverty and encourage a classless society, free from the menace of discrimination. Every child must have equal opportunities. Every child must be able to taste the fruits of hope, care, joy, and education. Every child must be bestowed upon with a chance to live a respectable life and save himself from getting trapped in the claws of crime. The process of maturing is one that no individual is oblivious to. While this process is credited with ability to foster and shape young minds, it also offers an enticing opportunity, to blossom into anything probable to imagination.

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