Monday, 18 March 2013 1 comments
There is a cordial relationship between substance abuse and crime, but unfortunately the seriousness of the issue has failed to elicit a proportionate response from all the stakeholders. In order to earn quick money to fulfil their compelling urge to purchase drugs, the drug addicts end up committing crimes and indulge in petty thefts like sawing away the window bars of public transport buses, hacking metal pieces off the road dividers, stealing car batteries, utensils from homes, picking pockets and even assaulting the pedestrians on deserted streets. This issue is assuming alarming proportions and pose a major threat to the law and order in the society.
This is the story of a juvenile drug addict who has been in conflict with the law for several years and has been victimising innocent pedestrians to extort money for his daily dose.
13 July, 2008: “Get up you sack of s**t and disappear from here before I turn into a devil and ferry you to hell”, said a Police constable in a furious voice while rapping on the knuckles of a juvenile drug addict with lathi (a wooden cane).
“Get up you monster or else be prepared to face my wrath”, the constable summoned him again, this time hitting him even harder with his lathi.
The seizure of narcotics had slipped Magan, the juvenile drug addict into a deep slumber and made his torso resistant to external blows. The constable clutched him with his dirty hair, dragged him out of the subway and threw this morose creature in a pool of muddy water. Magan did not show any sign of consciousness. The constable thrashed him again, gave him a tight slap and showered invectives upon him. Hearing his bitter words some pedestrians rushed to the child’s rescue but dispersed within a few minutes realising that this was an everyday affair.
After a while, Magan gained consciousness and turned to look at him dead in the eye, abused him and walked away towards a traffic junction with his rags. He was about 15 years of age but had overgrown features and had developed a beard and a manly voice. The day had just broken out for him and his primary objective at that moment was to satiate his hunger. He begged for alms at the traffic junction for hours but could hardly garner a few coins. Nevertheless, he felt happy as the money was sufficient for him to buy him a pack of beedis (sub-standard cigarettes) and a matchbox.
Unlike normal children of his age for whom food is synonymous with bread and vegetables, drug addicts like Magan associate food with drugs, tobacco and liquor. He can survive on these products for days and can resort to any means to make his both ends meet. He is joined by some of his friends who pool their ‘resources’ and play cards all day long before they flee to their respective dwellings at dusk.
Continue reading : Substance abuse and the tale of a vagabond : Part II