ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Justice to Juveniles

Justice to Juveniles SHIVA Jaamdar's article (July 22, 1995) has come to our attention only recently, but we would like to give the following comments on it. Whilst the thrust of the article was generally commendable, focusing on the need to do preventive rather than curative work (to borrow medical terminology), there are some tactical and strategic restrictions to this approach that have to be borne in mind. Poverty alleviation (and preferably its elimination) is a commendable aim, but in the current Indian context (with 60 crore living in poverty?) somewhat illusory. Whilst that long-term aim should be kept in mind, in order to greatly reduce the phenomena of street children, in the short and medium term, there is no alternative to a degree of curative work. We agree entirely with Shiva Jaamdar that that should not consist of the haphazard, uncontrolled, illegal and callous institutionalisation of so-called delinquent and vagrant children. If street children are found to be lost to society', then caring and sensitive institutions are needed for their rehabilitation. Hence in the short term the reform of remand homes (and prisons) is a necessity and, through our programme for children in conflict with the law, we at Bal Sakha have been working on this issue (among others) for the last decade.

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