Sanjay Yadav, TNN, Dec 16, 2010, 08.18pm IST
GURGAON: Breaking family structure, increasing show of violence in the media, low tolerance level and stress are just a handful of issues which city doctors point out as reasons behind the growing juvenile crimes. Continuous exposure to violence makes a child not only aggressive but also changes his perception about reality: “The overall upbringing of a child plays a critical role in shaping his future. However, when there is an unchecked exposure of violence to an adolescentmind, he becomes desensitized,” says Dr Samir Parikh, chief psychiatrist of Max Healthcare.
Doctors also attribute such behavior to the tendency of youngster’s eagerness to experiment — just like the enthusiasm to have first drink and first smoke, in rare cases it becomes the first crime. “Gurgaon has cultural trends quite similar to the western countries — that’s what we learn from our regular studies. This culture brings in a huge conflict between the teenagers and their parents in terms of the value system. This gap, and the way these children handle it, usually comes out as misbehavior, road rage and — in worst cases —crime,” explains Dr Rachna Khanna Singh, psychologist at Artemis Health Institute, Gurgaon.
Cases of depression, anxiety and stress related to exams are on the rise in city hospitals. That’s not it. Youngsters in their early teen are facing relationship crisis: “I see at least one case everyday where the child (15-17 years) comes with psychological disorders arising from a broken relationship,” added Dr Singh.
With both parents at work, there is an increasing level of disconnect between children and parents. This makes children feel lonely, with no one, except their friends, to consult at the moment of crisis. Police also need to change the way they handle different cases of juvenile crime. In cases of abused children, cops treat them in the same manner as those in conflict with the law. “Such children, if not counseled within time, are most likely to avenge by an act of crime. One must keep in mind that no matter how heinous the crime might be, a child is a child; and hence he/she needs care and counseling,” asserted Rishikant from Shakti Vahini, an NGO working in child rescue operations in the state.
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