Thursday, November 3, 2011

Juvenile delinquency – need for instilling moral values in children.

Arrogance, ruthlessness, impatience, anger, negligence – which of these is the worst evil ?  -  I have been strongly condemning the callous and unmindful usage of mobile phones by people while walking, crossing and driving on roads…. – but I am aghast by a news item in todays paper – another evil attributed to cell phone !!

Technology never kills – it is only the abuse or wrong use of technology that brings about negative results !!

Sure you have heard of ‘Juvenile delinquency’ – which would refer to antisocial or illegal behaviour of adolescents or children.  The law has special treatment for them and many legal systems do prescribe specific procedure for dealing with them which includes rehabilitation centres for reforming them.  There are some popular theories which advocate that youth should be treated differently even when they indulge in ghastly crimes.  Often, the level and types of crimes committed by youth are taken as indicators of general state of morality and law prevalent there.  Typically, these juveniles are the ones under the age of 18 who perhaps commit a crime without understanding its implications and repercussions !!

It is disheartening to read that more children across India are taking to crime with the incidence of juvenile crimes recording increase year over year.  Generally, they commit thefts, followed by hurting others, burglary and rioting.  There could be some cases of molestation and sexual harassment and rare cases of murder.  There are also some theories that the economic background of the juveniles also have a bearing on the incidence..

In yet another incident, a  polytechnic student was arrested for snatching gold chains from two women in Tambaram in separate incidents.   There have been sporadic incidents of clashes in College campuses with students owing allegiance to political parties, caste based outfits, states and more.  Only a few days earlier, a student from Assam reportedly died in a group clash between group of students from Assam and Bihar……. in Chidambaram district… Assam and Bihar waging a war in a college in Tamil nadu !!  - even more chilling is the report of a 14 year old strangulated to death by schoolmate in Tirunelveli over a cellphone squabble.

Reports state that  Manikandan (14) of Keelakalangal,near Alangulam in Tirunelveli district,who was a Class 9 student of CET Tennyson Higher Secondary School, had exchanged his phone with Kandasamy (name changed),a Class 10 student of the same school,a week ago. Manikandans father Anbuselvan scolded him for exchanging his phone for a cheaper model,and told him to get his handset back. However,Kandasamy refused to return the phone when Manikandan asked for it. This led to frequent quarrels between them.  On October 31,Manikandan went to Kandasamys house and demanded his mobile phone back.  When Manikandan insisted on getting his phone back,Kandasamy took him to a field saying his friend was in the pumpset room.  Manikandan was strangulated and died…
What is most worrying is the fact the perpetrators do not exhibit fear or feeling of remorse in executing such savage acts.  Perhaps economic background also has nothing to do as many with good educational background and hailing from affluent families indulge in crimes of abduction, extortion and cyber crimes.  

Till a  couple of decades ago, School Education laid emphasis on instilling values in students and in moulding their character – now a days – moral education is laughed and scoffed at !!  Mere focus on academic progress is taking us nowhere.   Some schools may be good at producing results but the need of the hour is the strengthening of value system and instilling values in our children.   Schools also should monitor and cultivate behavioural discipline in students.  Parents need to closely monitor their wards and regularly follow up with the Institutions where their wards are studying.  Moral degradation is bad for the individual, for the Society and for the Nation at large.

In another ghastly  incident  – a callous and negligent attitude of an attendant caused death of a baby.  In a hospital in Murshidabad Dist in West Bengal, a nurse had swabbed a patient with acid instead of spirit prior to injection.  quite unfortunately, the mother suffered severe acid burns which resulted in the death of the baby.  They are conflicting reports though, with the mother stating that the baby was born alive and then died, hospital claimed that he was still born. Now there are reports that Union Health Ministry has decided to roll out at all Districts, Sick Newborn Care Unit (SNCU) to handle critical neonatal cases.

In an unrelated announcement, yesterday, the Tamil Nadu chief minister J Jayalalithaa announced that the modern Anna centenary library in the city, a multi-crore project of the earlier DMK government, will be converted into a super speciality paediatric hospital.  She said the library and other activities related to school education would be housed in a new integrated intellectual park to be housed in an alternative site in the city.  By creating a super speciality hospital for children the state would ensure that it is a child welfare state, she added.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar.

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