ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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To Habilitate or Rehabilitate?

From Ecstasy to Agony and Back: Journeying with Adolescents on the Street by Barnabe D'Souza (New Delhi: Sage Publications), 2012; pp 252, Rs 350.

With a cover depicting the silhouette of an “adolescent” on a dark, narrow and deserted street, with a school bag hung on “his” shoulders, school shoes on his feet, standing in front of a house with a closed door, and a title as attractive as From ­Ecstasy to Agony and Back: Journeying with Adolescents on the Street, I wondered whether the book in my hands was indeed about the experience of a struggle of an adolescent on the streets. What are the stages of “ecstasy”, “agony” and then “back to ecstasy” that the ­author is referring to? I felt a little disappointed that the cover did not have a girl representing adolescents on the street. Was the adolescent standing alone on the street engrossed in his thoughts, a metaphorical representation of the loneliness and emptiness in the life of street ­dwelling adolescent? Was the closed door in front of him a symbol to depict the oppor­tunities lost and foregone? I wondered whether the author was using the term adolescent purposefully, aware of the difference between a child and an adolescent and their differential needs, expectations and desires, and was it a conscious decision to confine the book to a discussion of individuals of a parti­cular age group?

Living Theory Approach

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