Agra: Working as a reform centre for child and adolescent criminals, the state government juvenile observation home, also known as juvenile cell, is helping its young inmates develop key skills so that once their sentence is complete they can take up vocations instead of being drawn back into a life of crime.
Some of the child inmates at the juvenile cell here are currently undergoing computer training and from this week onward they will be also taught mobile repairing. State government juvenile observation home superintendent Aditya Yadav said “The plan is to start other vocational programs as well. The aim is to equip each inmate with at least one vocational skill. We are looking forward to the training programs in mushroom production, sericulture (the production of silk and the rearing of silkworms for this purpose) and fish farming. The children have taken a lot of interest in learning computers and are excited about the mobile repairing programme.”
“NGO Mohit Seva Sansthan has come forward to provide the juveniles with training in mobile repairing. Around 10 inmates will be trained in each shift,” added the official. So far, the juveniles were trained in the basic concepts of a computer. Another NGO Koshish Ek Asha had been providing this training to the children every afternoon inside the cell. More than 20 inmates have already completed the basic computer training.
Cell superintendent Yadav further said: “Learning a skill will make these children self reliant and eligible to join the mainstream society after they are released. The computer training programme has brought positive change in behaviour of these kids. All the formalities related to the starting of the mobile repairing programme are complete. The NGO has to appoint a teacher to begin training, which is expected to start in the next two to three days.”
The home, which is located behind the district administrative headquarters Agra, at present house has 83 juveniles. The inmates are mostly from five districts — Agra, Firozabad, Etah, Mainpuri and Kasganj.
“We have male children in the age group 11 to 18 under our care. About 80% of these children have been convicted for heinous crimes and the rest are facing serious criminal charges. A majority of the inmates are accused of theft, followed by robbery, dacoity, murder, eve teasing and rape.” In March this year, 11 inmates appeared for the Uttar Pradesh High School and Intermediate Board examinations.
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