Counsellor, teacher and dentist: Nagaland IPS officer wears multiple hats to serve society

2016-batch IPS officer Pritpal Kaur helps students prepare for civil services exams, counsels drug addicts and their families and being a dentist, she helps locals quit tobacco chewing.

Published: 14th February 2021 11:39 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2021 12:22 PM   |  A+A-

Noklak SP Pritpal Kaur has turned conference hall of SP's office into a classroom for UPSC aspirants

Noklak SP Pritpal Kaur has turned conference hall of SP's office into a classroom for UPSC aspirants. (Photo| EPS)

A woman IPS officer is working silently to change the lives of people in one of the remotest parts of the country. Declared a district last month, Noklak in Nagaland lacks basic infrastructure and facilities and the Superintendent of Police, Pritpal Kaur, has gone beyond her call of duty and taken it upon her shoulders to work for the welfare of locals.

She helps students prepare for the civil services exams, counsels drug addicts and their families on a regular basis. Since she is a dentist too, who had served in Hyderabad prior to becoming an IPS, she also helps those suffering from dental diseases. By the teachings developed a sense of love and compassion early in life.

Cracking the civil services exam in 2016 and becoming the SP of a district has not changed her habit of serving society. Only the league in which she helps has altered. She conceived the idea of working with the civil services aspirants while she was serving in the neighbouring Tuensang district.

She had reached out to them through the social media and began taking classes along with some officers of the police and civil administration.

Seven students cleared the prelims of state civil services exam this year. She is continuing with it in Noklak. She has turned the conference hall of the SP’s office into a classroom. Around 30 students, some of them employed, attend classes from 6 am - 10 am thrice a week. The teachers include some officers of the state civil services and an Assam Rifles doctor. The classes started last week.

“Noklak shares a border with Myanmar and is, perhaps, the remotest district in the country. It lacks infrastructure. I thought I can take my time off in the morning and conduct classes to give them some direction in life,” Pritpal said.

She spends a part of her salary to buy books that she gives to the aspirants. They are also provided with study materials and made to face tests regularly. Apart from the civil services exam, they are prepared for SSC, CAPF, bank and state-level departmental exams.

“The students here are very talented but financial constraints and the lack of opportunities create hurdles on their path of success. So, we decided to provide equal opportunity to them so that they can excel in their lives and future. Empowered students make an empowered society,” Pritpal, a Punjabi born in Haryana, says. “The first rule of Sikhism is to serve humanity. The youth are the backbone of a society. I got a WhatsApp group created in Tuensang and reached out to the civil services aspirants. I asked whoever is interested to take the classes,” she says.

Given Noklak’s proximity to the porous international border vis-a-vis drug-smuggling, the SP has formed an anti-drug squad and involved community, NGO and church leaders in curbing the menace. She visits schools and churches and tells people on the ill effects of drug addiction from a doctor’s point of view. She says those taking drugs cannot be dissuaded, no matter what punishment one gives them, but love, care and empathy can. Youth and their families are given counseling. Recently, she met some 100 drug addicts undergoing treatment and counselled them on how they can eke out a living by engaging themselves in livelihood-generating programmes.

“We visit villages and teach locals how to do farming. There are some self-help groups here. We invited people from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and seeds of six vegetables were given to the villagers. They were also imparted lessons on scientific farming. I have sent 21 farmers to Dimapur (state’s commercial hub) to learn food processing and they will become master trainers. They will teach every villager,” Pritpal says.

The locals chew betel leaf and nut. As it can lead to oral cancer, she educates them how they can maintain dental hygiene. In seminars and events, she tells them that chewing betel leaf and nut could be a local custom and tradition but it causes cancer.

As the locals living in remote areas also deserve equal opportunities, the SP and her team thought of helping them in several other ways. They are working towards promoting their agriculture and products, teaching them scientific farming and food processing and encouraging the dropouts to take to entrepreneurship. Carved out of Tuensang, the hilly Noklak is perched on eastern Nagaland. It covers an area of 1,152 sq km. The new district has the same boundaries as the Noklak sub-division of Tuensang.



Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp