Story of boy who robbed to earn just a bowl of food

Representative image. (Photo/ Pixabay)

Circumstances forced this boy, at age 10, to take to crime. Police caught him, put him in a remand home for juvenile crime and ‘tortured’ him.

What followed was a story of perseverance and Pradeesh (name changed), now 26, is preparing for the civil services examinations.

Pradeesh was born in a poor family with two elder brothers and lost his mother at the age of seven. To make matters worse, his father did not take good care of the family.

The precarious situation led him to commit crimes, to fulfill his needs. He had company in those in the neighbourhood who indulged in crimes like robbery and attempt to murder.

Detached completely from the family today, Pradeesh is transformed and works as an assistant manager in a private bank in Bengaluru and is also preparing for his civil service examinations.

Pradeesh was invited to share his story at the Regional Conclave of State Commissions for Protection of Child Rights in the city on Tuesday. Officials from Karnataka, Kerala, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu and Goa discussed child right issues.

“I feel everyone should be given a second chance in life to understand themselves, especially when they commit mistakes as kids.

“For me, there was no one to guide and take me on the right track or fulfil my needs when I was a child. Whatever I did was just for a bowl of food,” he said.

As explained by Pradeesh, his stay at the remand home between February and November in 2005 was a transformation period.

“I learnt a lot at the observation home and later, I was taken in by a Bengaluru-based NGO, which gave me education and helped me be what I am today,” he says.

Pradeesh was a class 4 dropout and after he was handed over to the NGO, he was admitted to class 7, based on his age. Though it was difficult for him to cope with the lessons in the beginning, he managed to complete his class 10 with 64% and PUC with 72%. Later, he did his BCom from a private university in Bengaluru. He is now pursuing MBA through correspondence.

“The day when the police tortured me, I decided to become an IPS officer, but later changed my mind. I want to take up IAS to serve the society by helping those with a troubled childhood. I am also planning to give a talk soon at the remand home to help children become good citizens,” he said.

Pradeesh advises people not to hit children when they make mistakes. “Instead, try to bring them on the right track with positive taughts,” he says.

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