Pimpri Chinchwad, 23rd December 2023: In an effort to address the escalating issue of juvenile crime in Pimpri-Chinchwad, the local police have taken a unique approach by providing football training to children involved in criminal activities. The ‘Disha’ initiative, spearheaded by Pimpri-Chinchwad Police Commissioner Vinay Kumar Choubey, aims to guide minors away from criminal behavior and towards a more constructive path.
Juvenile crime, particularly in activities such as vehicle vandalism, fights, and theft of mobile phones, has been a persistent challenge for law enforcement in the city. Under the ‘Disha’ initiative, Sandesh Borde’s coaching team is training over 400 children, including those with criminal backgrounds, across 18 police station limits in the city.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Vishal Hire highlighted the positive impact of the initiative, noting a seven to eight percent decrease in juvenile crime compared to the previous year. The training focuses on children under the age of eighteen residing in the city’s 78 slums, encompassing those with both criminal backgrounds and law-abiding youngsters.
Coach Sandesh Borde explained the rationale behind choosing football for this initiative, stating that it involves physical exertion as every player actively pursues the ball. Unlike cricket, which is more passive in terms of physical activity, football is cost-effective, requiring only a single ball and ensuring every child has shoes for participation.
Borde emphasized the transformative effect of football training on children with criminal backgrounds, noting that it redirects their focus away from crime. Previously engaged in illicit activities, these youngsters are now striving to become responsible citizens, simultaneously pursuing higher education.
The ‘Disha’ initiative reflects a proactive approach by Pimpri-Chinchwad Police in addressing juvenile crime through positive engagement and skill development. The success of this initiative underscores the potential for similar programs to be implemented in other regions, providing an alternative and constructive path for at-risk youth.