Reforming and Rehabilitating Juvenile Delinquents

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The story so far....

Nitika Nagar, a final year student of Symbiosis Law School in Pune, had sociology as a subject when she was in her first year. She was working on a project with three other students for the same. The project involved visiting a juvenile home and writing an analysis based on their observations. She and her teammates started interacting with the superintendents and probation officers in the juvenile home, along with taking sessions with the children to speak with them and understand their situation from a legal point of view. They were involved in a lot of in-depth research and while working on the project she realised that she was getting very personally involved with these children. She started empathizing with them and wanted to help them in some way. She felt that the situation of the children in juvenile homes is very different from other children, like those living on streets. They go through their own emotional and mental turmoil, but for juveniles it is very different because they have lost their sense of right and wrong. And whatever they have done is mostly driven by circumstances. Moreover the situation of juvenile homes is very bad today. 

All of this really made her think about the issue and drove me towards working for the children,” In 2013, she started a student group named Preshti to work for the reformation of children in juvenile homes. Preshti is now an NGO operating under the aegis of Alexis Society, an international non-profit organization. She started the group with 12 other students. 

In the beginning, Nitika didn’t have an organizational setup. It was just the students who used to give legal aid to the juveniles and conduct educational programs for them. But the team has a proper administrative setup now and they have worked with over 40 children at the Nehru Udyog Kendra in Yerawada, Pune. Preshti teams up with psychologists who visit the juvenile home in Yerawada and provide individual as well as team counselling sessions to the inmates. Group counselling sessions take place thrice a week and individual counselling sessions are conducted almost every day depending upon the need of the child. There is a proper segregation of kids based on the crime they have committed and the level of counselling they will need. Those who commit theft, robbery, etc. and are not habitual offenders need one-time counselling, while those who come in for crimes like murder, rape, etc. need continuous treatment and therapy. The psychologists are not involved with the team on a permanent basis but work mostly on contracts. People from Chetna Counselling Centre in Pune and psychology professors from Symbiosis have worked with them for a very long time. The team also has psychology graduates who assist the professionals in one-on-one sessions. She herself took some training in the fields of communication, health and hygiene so that she would be able to conduct sessions regarding the same with the children. The team also conducts behavioural therapy sessions through theatre and drama. Preshti’s core team has five members and there are seven other members working with them. These are all college students from different backgrounds in Pune, like psychology students, those pursuing social work, management students, etc. The law students are involved in providing legal aid to the parents to make them more aware of the juvenile justice act, etc. While the organization is working on a more concrete funding model, they have received some individual and corporate funding as of now. The team members also pitch in whenever required. 

Preshti now wishes to register as a foundation an required donations for the same. In near future, it wishes to start a new office with a team of psychologists, lawyers, social workers and teachers who would help them forward their cause. Moreover, Nitika aims at starting coaching center to help juveniles cope with their academics and new counselling centers where psychologists can conduct sessions for the children. 

The Risks and Challenges
Since we are a youth organization we need funds to sustain. This involves building a team and registering as a full fledged organization in Mumbai like the one in Pune and setting up an office to carry forward our activities in Mumbai. We also wish to have more professionals on board and build academic and coaching centers for the benefit of these juvenile delinquents

How these Funds will be used
In all we wish to raise 10,00,000 which will be utilized for the organization's registration in Mumbai, for renting a workplace and to hire resource people like psychologists, teachers, social workers and lawyers who will be working on a month to month basis.

Preshti understands the value of transparency and accountability. Given below are the links that highlight our work 

http://www.thebetterindia.com/59964/preshti-yerwada-juvenile-home-pune-symbiosis-law-college/
http://thegoldensparrow.com/news/for-a-better-life-beyond-a-juvenile-house/ 
https://www.indiamantra.com/child-development-juvenile-offenders/ 

Additionally, you may check our websites  
http://alexis.co.in/preshti/about/ 
http://alexis.co.in/ 

We understand the importance of our donations and would like to work with them ethically to build long lasting relations. Hence we shall send all our donors a detailed report on how the donations are being utilized, along with photographs. Moreover, they may visit our ongoing programs if they wish and understand how their donations are being channelized.

For further verification you may contact: 
Aditya Singh (President, Aexis Society): president@alexis.co.in 
Nitika Nagar (Founder, Preshti): alexis.preshti@gmail.com, +919757347211


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