Barbed wire
Alpna Manchanda

Alpna Manchanda

Advertising Consultant, traveler,

Of razor wire boundary walls and vocational training

Someone stole my son’s bicycle from our back yard. We responded by cementing bits of broken glass on the back wall. Now no one could jump in from there. And we thought we were safe.

A couple of months later an intruder sneaked into the house help’s room. He turned her room upside down and even broke open locked drawers with an iron rod. Luckily she spotted him and raised an alarm. He escaped by jumping the boundary wall that ran along the length of the house.

We called the police. They said he was probably a drug addict desperate for his next fix. Then they showed us files full of young criminal youth who they called petty thieves.  One of the young men was even grinning charmingly into the police identification parade camera. Nope, none of these young men resembled the jean-clad young fellow who had dared to break into our home.

This time we raised the boundary wall by adding wrought iron spikes.

Then we heard that the neighbors got robbed. So we quickly decided to add razor wire to the iron spiked walls.

While I supervised the laying out of the wire, I remembered that way back in time, for 12 long years I had managed a program that put drop out youth back into school. I had arranged for hundreds of these young men and women to be trained as beauticians, nursery teachers, call center executives and ground staff for airlines. I fondly remember the star kids who went on to college and earned precious degrees or started their own business. Some of them still call and give me an update on their lives and careers.

I gave up volunteer work and started focussing on earning a living. So that I can spend my earnings on turning our home into a fortress. Maybe I should have stayed with the Youth Empowerment Program. Those neighborhood junkies would have had a better way of earning a living.

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