Chhattisgarh IPS officer aims to remove fear of cops in students with innovative school programme
Twice a week, Korba police visit schools to impart a better understanding of traffic rules, basic laws, health, cyber offence, crimes, ill-effects of drug addiction among other things.
RAIPUR: In a 'catch them young' strategy, schools in Chhattisgarh's power hub Korba have brightened up with a new programme that has students and police officers interacting with each other to address and resolve the fear of khaki from young minds.
Bhojram Patel, a 2013-batch IPS officer with a humble background as a teacher in a village school, is carrying out an ‘out of the box’ initiative that connects the schools with multiple objectives under a regular programme—“Khaki Ke Rang, School Ke Sang” (Enriching School with Experience of Khaki-police).
In this novel initiative, police across the district are also seen infusing character and determination among students to shape them as disciplined individuals.
Khaki Ke Rang, School Ke Sang
“There remains a gap between society and the police. Despite the good deeds by men in uniform who rise to challenges, a negative perception prevails that is opposite to their expected role as protector. So to get a long-term result, we picked the schools as a focal point to change the attitude towards policemen who can be equally humane, responsive, affable”, Patel asserted. The move is also intended to meet given the goal of ‘trust, development, security’ of the police department.
As per the plan of action, the police personnel visit schools at least twice a week. There they conduct interactive sessions and PowerPoint presentations to infuse a better understanding of traffic rules, basic laws, health, cyber offence, crimes, ill-effects of drug addiction among other things. Self-defence training is also being imparted to students, mostly the girls.
Patel’s unconventional proposition to rope in school students, teachers, sarpanch, panch and locals for a larger cause of society is gaining wide recognition.
Students feel encouraged to act as swift informers to report any illegal or anti-social acts to their teachers (in urban areas) or the sarpanch or panch (in rural habitats). Teachers and panchayats then convey information to the respective police stations.
“The fear of police among students and the teaching community is diminishing. The often-overlooked qualities of bravery, fitness, integrity, negotiation skill and mental agile of police are recognised by the students as ideal attributes that should be embraced”, said Manohar Lal, school principal.
In an interesting exercise to explain the workings of the administration, Korba police have assigned the role of police chief to a teacher and as an inspector for the class monitor in the school.
“Police never looked so polite and friendly,“ the students remarked.