HYDERABAD: Obesity among policemen cutting across various ranks has been an issue raised umpteen times in the past. While some officials attribute it to genetic and medical issues, others believe it is due to long hours of work, errant eating habits and sleep, which is a part and parcel of the cop job.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fitness challenge creating a buzz among IPS officers bringing their fitness levels back to focus, the Telangana police seem to have woken up to the fact that while they maintain law and order, it is also important to be fit.
In Hyderabad, city police commissioner Anjani Kumar has taken the PM’s challenge in a different way. “Our objective is to transform Hyderabad police into a more fitter force in another three to four months. We will do this in different ways, including talking to family members of the officers,” he said.
Similarly, Superintendent of Police of Jogulamba Gadwal district, Rema Rajeswari, who is a marathon runner, said obesity is many a times a result of long hours of work or errant eating habits and irregular sleep. “All our personnel have begun to take part in a trek of 5-8 km every fortnight. We have started this as part of our mana kudumba mana aarogyam programme. Apart from this, long walks and yoga are also a part of their lives now,” she said.
Senior officers believe that fitness should be part of work culture and that being hard-pressed for time is never an excuse.
Principal Secretary (Home) Rajiv Trivedi said: “We had started air conditioned gyms with the best equipment for police constables. Even without a gym, with one’s own body weight and gravity, a lot can be achieved.” Trivedi, a 1986 batch IPS officer had set a world record swimming from Sri Lanka to India (30 km in 12 hours 31 minutes) in 2011, and also ranked third fastest veteran in Mumbai Marathon earlier. He said, “Determination is the key. Fitness has to be part of the family and cannot be achieved in isolation.”
Another senior IPS officer VK Singh, presently working as Director General, Prisons, opined: “I feel all citizens of the country should be given two to three months of military or police training to inculcate discipline and fitness in them.”
Police officials say that though the issue of keeping the officers and men fit as a fiddle has been discussed many a times, however, it is being taken seriously keeping in mind the increasing number of policemen suffering from diabetes, high blood pressure, stress, and other health related ailments.
Additional DG (Law and Order) Jitender feels that keeping oneself fit and healthy is important to lead a quality life. The officer, who has been practising Yoga and Pranayam for several years now, says healthy eating habit is the key. “There is a lot of improvement among police personnel when it comes to health and fitness. There are several ways to maintain health but I think one should eat the right food,” he said.
V Ravinder, Commissioner of Police, Warangal city, said fitness is an important stress buster for a police officer. “Sports is much better option to keep yourself fit,” said the officer.