When there is stress, there is BLISS for Odisha police

Commissionerate Police has opened Basic Life Improvement Skills and Strategies Centre to help police personnel get over addiction, writes Asish Mehta

Published: 02nd October 2022 06:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd October 2022 06:28 AM   |  A+A-

Police personnel during a training session | express

Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Tress is a permanent fixture in a police personnel’s life. The nature of work, inherent pressure coupled with back-breaking work hours and little work-life balance drive many to alcoholism and even substance abuse.

If there is stress, there is BLISS too, thanks to Commissionerate Police. To help fellow police personnel deal with addiction, it has set up its very own wellness centre in the Capital where the men in khaki receive therapy, counselling and key life improvement skills.

Basic Life Improvement Skills and Strategies (BLISS) Centre which operates from the Reserve Office has already admitted 16 police personnel of which six have been discharged after showing remarkable improvement.

A 38-year-old police constable (name withheld) recalls how he struggled with the drinking habit. “The long and odd hours of work, very little to spend with family was already taking toll. The Covid pandemic added to the stress and exacerbated my drinking problem,” he said.

After BLISS was opened, Inspectors of police stations and battalions were asked to identify constables struggling with alcoholism.As part of the de-addiction programme, enlisted personnel are given physical training which starts at 5.30 am every day. The 45 minutes between 6.30 am and 7.15 am is for games and gardening take over from 7.30 am onwards. The inmates attend counseling sessions and work out at the gym set up at the Reserve Office. Their evening activities end with singing the national anthem at 8 pm.

“I did not have a life like this for so many years. The training, counseling gave me a fresh perspective. I am off alcohol now,” said another inmate who belongs to a southern district. Most of those who registered are from constabulary ranks. Many are from tribal districts while some had worked in the Maoist-affected areas too.

“BLISS was opened for the well-being of police personnel. Apart from the de-addiction programme, experts conduct physiotherapy sessions for those who have developed pain due to long working hours or sustained injuries while performing their duties,” said Additional CP, Umashankar Dash.

For them, physiotherapy equipment worth Rs 3 lakh was purchased and set up at Reserve Office. Six personnel have been trained by cardio-rehab expert Dr Debasish Samantray and they are treating their colleagues with conditions requiring physiotherapy, he added. 

Bhubaneswar DCP Prateek Singh said odd work hours, exposure to hostile situations and physical and mental stress are responsibilities that police agree to take on when they join the force. “But it takes a toll which is why for well-being of the personnel, the centre was opened. BLISS has been successfully organising the de-addiction programme,” he added. 

Though the enlisted personnel are not engaged in official work during their treatment period, some are assigned law and order duties on certain days. De-addiction specialists Dr Suvendu Mishra, anti-drug activist Imran Ali, Manav Adhyayan Kendra secretary Kirti Das and motivational speaker Dr Hara Prasanna Das are the resource persons for the centre.


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