The Navratri 3G detectives are on the prowl, kids

Sep 25, 2011, 08:15 IST | Nivedita Dargalkar

This season, parents are employing private detectives who will use 3G to send them live videos of their children

This season, parents are employing private detectives who will use 3G to send them live videos of their children

It's not unusual for parents of teenagers to be worried during Navratri celebrations, what with children keeping late hours and a high number of cases involving alcohol consumption, drink driving and unprotected sex reported. Many private agencies have over the years provided succour to parents by tailing children and reporting on their whereabouts. But this season, private agencies and parents are better armed, thanks to 3G.

Many private detective agencies in the city are using 3G technology this season to keep a better check on youth, whose parents have hired them. Here, a sleuth tails and, unlike older times, beams using a 3G enabled handset to the parent, a live feed of whatever the child is up to. Many anxious parents have reportedly lapped up the new service, where apart from the sleuth, the parent is also required to have a 3G-enabled phone.

Utpal Chaudhary, the owner of an Andheri-based detective agency, reportedly has eight cases so far with worried parents as clients, where 3G phones will be used in the investigations. Chaudhary says, "We will be showing parents a live coverage of what their kids are doing at dandiya events."

In previous seasons, detectives would follow youth and record what they were up to, at most resorting to phoning parents. Shailesh Tatgure, a Vashi-based detective, who is also using the technology in his investigations says, "Initially, we would call up parents to inform them about the whereabouts of their children.

However, now through the video-calling process made available via 3G phones, parents can keep a live check on their children and accordingly give us directions."

Kirtesh Kavi, who owns a Goregaon-based detective agency, has reportedly received 16 requests from parents this Navratri.

He says, "We will use 3G services this Navratri and also welcome inputs from parents. However, in case the youth do something obscene that might hurt his/her parents, we will record it and show it later to the parents."

But why are parents opting for a detective's services? Whatever happened to trust and faith in one's child? Kishore Jani (name changed on request), who hired a detective during last year's Navratri celebrations to investigate the activities of his 22 year-old daughter, says, "Today, children make so many friends via social networking sites. I wanted to be assured that my child has not fallen into bad company." Another parent, a Delhi-based Prakash Karnani (name changed on request),  who hired a detective agency last Navratri to check on his 25 year-old son working in Mumbai, said, "My son stays alone in Mumbai. We wanted to confirm that he was at the Dandiya venue he mentioned."

Sociologist Nandini Sardesai says this trend of hiring detectives to check on a child's activities is getting common now. "It's not that parents don't trust their children. But with so many such untoward cases being reported every Navratri, parents feel insecure."

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