New Delhi: 'Saamaan' or 'pudia' are the code words for drugs in the national capital. They bother to ask about your age only when you want a second pudia in a day. They ask for an accompanying adult for they fear a second dose of heroin might kill the children who are now addicts. And they don't want "bekar ka tension" (unnecessary hassles).
CNN-News18 investigation has blown the lid off Delhi's worst kept secret. Drug peddlers are at large, hunting for their next prey, and children are their easy targets.
At least 25,000 children in Delhi's east and north-east districts have turned addicts with police and local administration virtually turning a blind eye to the growing menace.
Our investigation spanned distinct areas in Delhi and came back with the harsh reality about children getting hooked on to narcotics with heroin being available as easily as chocolates in all nook and corners.
Children, often thrown out of schools due to their addiction (schools say they want to protect other kids), are committing the heinous crimes to buy their dug dose, while peddlers get away owing to laxity by law enforcement.
The three sting operations that CNN-News18 carried out in a month-long undercover operation, made it glaringly clear that drugs have infiltrated almost every neighborhood and have attacked the most vulnerable of them all — kids.
Children as young as 6-year-old are addicted; they are out of school and do anything to get the money to buy smack, charas, ganja etc. Priced between Rs 50 and Rs 450, depending upon the quality and quantity of what one wants, drugs are sold by men and women, in houses, in the open, and even while on the move.
Where is the police in all this? We questioned some parents who had come to meet their addicted children in a juvenile justice home. Their answer: "Police don't care...they are either complicit or think these are not high society kids so let them die. Nobody will question them."