Addiction: The only refuge from hunger, cold for street children
NEW DELHI: Winter in the Capital is a vulnerable time for street children, who turn to sniffing glue and solution tubes to keep hunger and the freezing cold away.
Taking advantage of their precarious situation, anti-social elements often sell such products to them at exorbitant costs and keep them addicted.
Central Delhi Police has arrested and questioning many such criminals involved in the gangs that sell glues to minors. These accused sell the glue at Rs 100 a piece and earn over a lakh rupees each month.
Millennium Post talked to some children living on the streets, who said that sniffing glue is the easiest way for them to survive the cold and minimise their suffering.
The rags that these children use to sniff the adhesive smell horrible. But they have almost no sense of smell left, with the glue having damaged their senses.
In view of these incidents, Central Delhi Police are keeping an eye on people selling fluid to teenagers and small children. Police pickets have been set up, patrolling has been strengthened and beat staff have been sensitised to be alert.
Police sources claimed that they are inquiring children addicted to glue as to where they bought these addictive substances.
Daryaganj police got some clues, which led to busting a gang involved in selling fluids.
On December 7, cops found out from a child that he bought his solution from one Noor Mohammad at Patri near Red Fort Red Light.
Cops nabbed Mohammad red-handed with 120 tubes.
Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (Central) Anto Alphonse said that during interrogation, Mohammad revealed information about a gang operating which buys the solution from shops – with some its members being minors – and sells it further
Based on Mohammad's tip, four minors were apprehended with 20 tubes of solution each and three men, namely Chandan Kumar, Jagdish and Sameer were caught with 20 tubes each.
Further investigation revealed that they all bought the solution from a shop by the name of Vinayak Motors, at SP Mukherjee Marg near Old Delhi Railway Station.
"During the operation, a raid was conducted at the said place and 19,440 tubes of solution were recovered and one Raj Kumar Gupta was apprehended," said Alphonse.
The glue, which costs Rs 30-40, was being sold to children for more than Rs 100.
The standard operating procedure of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), in association with a Delhi-based NGO, on care and protection of children in street situations states that most street children work five-eight hours on an average each day.
Long working hours, drudgery and exhaustion are some of the reasons that get children attracted to drugs.
A substantial part of their earnings are spent on drugs and intoxicants.