Published: 24th January 2019
This Republic Day, children of Kozhikode juvenile homes will join the parade
A platoon of 27 children, both boys and girls will be part of the parade at Kozhikode's Captain Vikram ground in West Hill
Most of them are products of broken homes, abandonment and unhappy childhoods. When circumstances pushed their little hands to commit petty crimes, they were again confined to their little worlds — inside the four walls of juvenile homes. Food, education, shelter, they have all the necessities in those state-run homes. But they are outcasts for the outside world, most of the time.
But this Republic Day might bring about a change in the lives of the children in the juvenile homes in Kozhikode, thanks to the police department. In a first, a platoon of 27 children is marching at the Republic Day parade to be held at Kozhikode's Captain Vikram ground in West Hill. All of them are residents of the government juvenile home in Vellimadukunnu. The platoon is led by Ashwini, a juvenile home resident.
"The idea was put forward by the police department and the Child Protection Officer. The commissioner was very supportive of the initiative, which let us go forward with it," says T Vishwanathan, Sub Inspector, Juvenile Wing. He said that the Kozhikode Child Protection Officer also supported the initiative. "The children are practicing regularly on the grounds with the others. The Commissioner was really impressed by them and appreciated these children individually," he adds.
Vishwanathan adds that the initiative will be the first stepping stone to remove the social stigma associated with juvenile home inmates. "I don't think this has happened anywhere before. Most of these kids do not have anyone to look after them. They get food and education, but there is no scope for them to interact with the outside world. But this will hopefully change the way people look at them," he says. He adds that the police department is also planning to employ these children as volunteers in the State Youth Festivals.