BENGALURU: The archetypal image of a policeman — tough, phlegmatic, and immersed in his job of nabbing criminals — is sometimes shattered. After all, their duties entail serving the public, and while doing that, they must step out of the precincts of the police station, look beyond the khaki and find solutions to problems in society rather than evidence.
Raj Kumar, 16, is a native of Bihar, who found reading, writing, and speaking Kannada an onerous task, and he failed the SSLC exam which was held in May, 2022. His mother works as a cook in an apartment complex in HSR Layout, and being penurious meant he might have to discontinue his studies. Dispelling the gloom, strode in police inspector LY Rajesh of Bandepalya police station. Kumar, who speaks Maithili, had scored only 18 in the SSLC exam in May. With the help of 21-day special coaching arranged by Rajesh, his marks almost doubled to 34, and he was promoted. He will be joining Vijaya College for his PUC.
“I had a problem learning the basics. Teachers like Geetha and Manju V helped me understand the preliminary concepts. I wrote tests to prepare for the exam. ‘Inspector sir’ arranged for tutions, and breakfast every day, and, as a result, I passed. My total score was 355, which placed me in second class,” said Kumar.
Like Kumar, V Reena from New Mother Theresa High School in Hosapalya failed the SSLC exam in May, obtaining 30 marks in Kannada and 27 in Hindi. Her father Veeranna, a fish seller at the local market, blamed the Covid-19-induced lockdown for his daughter’s loss of concentration, and the eventual academic disaster. After attending the tuition classes which were arranged by Rajesh, she scored 50 in Kannada and 54 in Hindi.
As a metaphorical guru Dakshina, Faizan Pasha, who is all set to join college after passing with 60 per cent marks, came down to the police station with a box of sweets to thank Rajesh. Pasha had scored only eight in Kannada which surged to 43 after tuitions. He has scored a total of 375.
Speaking to The New Sunday Express, Inspector Rajesh said, “After the result, I was worried about the students in my station limits who have failed. I feared that they might be compelled to shelve studies without assistance, and some of them could commit crimes.” “During the investigation of one of my cases, an accused told me that after he had failed, there was no one to care for him. If someone had helped him to resume his studies, he would not have become a criminal. This led me to arrange for tuition for students from poor and vulnerable backgrounds during the SSLC exams. Of the 85 students who came for the tutions, 42 have passed. We are also trying to arrange for re totaling as it may help some of them clear the hurdle.”
He was supported by an NGO Raajalanchana which sent its youth wing members to bring students and counsel them. The teachers were chosen from within the station limits, and permission was obtained from respective management to engage their staff in tuition for the needy students. As the police were dealing with minors, he assigned sub-inspector Muzzamil Khan and Chikkanna Hajagowal as coordinators for the project.
After the results were announced in June, schools in the station limits were contacted, and a list of students was drawn. Their parents were called and explained about free tuition. After their consent, an ID card was made for each student, and a WhatsApp group was created comprising teachers, police, and parents to monitor the students.
Since the classes were held from early morning till evening, Rajesh, through the apparatus of his network, arranged for food and snacks for students for 21 days. Swiggy had sponsored cake and juice. Hotel Arogya, Udupi, Hunger Camp, Chef Tech, and Gokul Garments supplied food.
“Our objective was to save an academic year for the students. We helped them revise, practice the probable questions, and explained the method of the exam, among other things,” said Rajesh. Salma Banu from Al-Rahi English school, who is still monitoring the remaining students who have failed in English and Social Science, lauded the police team for going beyond their charter of duties.
“The students are from different backgrounds. Most of them are poor and weak in their studies. Their parents are illiterate and a few of them were unemployed. When the students failed in their first attempt at the SSLC exam, they and their parents were depressed. At this critical hour, Bandepalya police station’s inspector Rajesh and his team helped the students. They selected the best teachers to train them. He stood like a pillar, and gave them moral support,” Salma Banu explained.