Life Of A Delhi Pickpocket In All Its Secrecy


Life Of A Delhi Pickpocket In All Its Secrecy

In the realm of pickpocketing, the secret term for your smartphone is ‘teeli,’ whereas money tucked in your inner pocket is referred to as ‘chacha.’

Ashwin’s introduction to the dark underworld of Delhi’s criminal gangs began during his time as a school student. A classmate from his senior secondary school in Badarpur, a lower-income neighborhood on the outskirts of India’s capital, initiated him into this world. Ashwin was astonished when his friend revealed that he would pickpocket people on buses during their daily commute.

How to Avoid Pickpockets in India

Following this revelation, Ashwin received an offer that he quickly accepted due to the allure of easy money. His new friend asked him to serve as a carrier, responsible for safely transporting the stolen phones or wallets. For the seemingly effortless task of carrying a phone for a short distance, Ashwin would earn Rs 200, a significant sum for a student in the eleventh grade.

During our conversation at a tea shop in Badarpur, just near the inter-city bus terminal, the area’s prominent landmark, Ashwin explained the challenges of avoiding bad company in Badarpur, regardless of one’s background. He raised the question of companionship for those from respectable families, highlighting the difficulty of resisting the influence of the neighborhood’s environment.

Ashwin’s story sheds light on the struggles faced by individuals who find themselves immersed in a criminal underworld at a young age. It underscores the pervasive influence of one’s surroundings and the allure of quick financial gains, which can override moral and ethical considerations.

Meeting Ashwin in Badarpur provides insight into the daily realities and social dynamics of the neighborhood. The area’s inter-city bus terminal serves as a symbolic reminder of the location’s significance and the challenges faced by its residents.

The narrative emphasizes the importance of understanding the complex factors that contribute to individuals’ involvement in criminal activities, emphasizing the need for support systems and alternatives to break the cycle and offer them a way out.

Pickpockets in Delhi Metro: Here is how they do it, and how to spot them |  Latest News Delhi - Hindustan Times

The art of pickpocketing has a long-standing presence in human society, as depicted in various forms of art and literature, including Charles Dickens’ renowned novel “Oliver Twist” published in 1838. The dexterity and cunning of pickpockets have also been showcased as entertainment in magic shows, with some pickpocketing magicians even becoming the highest-paid performers in European circuses.

The Times Of India on Twitter: "At Delhi Congress get-together, pickpocket  steals the show" / Twitter

In India, the tradition of pickpocketing has endured for centuries. In New Delhi, a bustling metropolis, a well-established network of pickpockets has operated in crowded markets and tourist areas for decades. Despite measures such as police patrols, CCTV surveillance, and public awareness campaigns, pickpocketing incidents continue to occur in the city.

Efforts to combat pickpocketing reflect the recognition of the issue’s persistence and its impact on public safety. However, the nature of pickpocketing, which relies on stealth and quick maneuvers, presents challenges for law enforcement and security measures. The crowded nature of markets and tourist spots provides fertile ground for pickpockets to blend in and carry out their activities discreetly.

The ongoing existence of pickpocketing in New Delhi underscores the need for a multifaceted approach that combines preventive measures, law enforcement efforts, and public awareness campaigns to mitigate the problem. It is essential to continually evaluate and refine these strategies to stay one step ahead of the pickpockets and ensure the safety and security of residents and visitors alike.

While pickpocketing persists in New Delhi, it is crucial to maintain vigilance and adopt personal safety measures, such as securing personal belongings and being aware of one’s surroundings. By fostering a culture of vigilance and implementing effective measures, it is possible to reduce the prevalence of pickpocketing and create a safer environment for all.

Over time, the gang that Ashwin was associated with lost interest in him and began recruiting other eager young boys from schools in Badarpur. Ashwin continues to hear stories of kids from his own school joining pickpocketing gangs. He believes that government schools in the area remain the prime recruiting grounds, as some individuals view it as a shortcut to financial gain.

Currently, Ashwin has managed to secure a job and is determined to start a fresh chapter in his life. He avoids spending time in his neighborhood and prefers to keep to himself. Although he contemplates leaving


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here
Captcha verification failed!
CAPTCHA user score failed. Please contact us!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.