MP firefighter on a mission to train underprivileged youth to achieve their dream job and sports

An Indore-based firefighter has been providing physical training to youngsters since 2011 to become cops and army personnel, reports Anuraag Singh.
MP’s sports and youth welfare department has tasked Jaiswal with coaching 650 police constable aspirants in Indore. (Photo| EPS)
MP’s sports and youth welfare department has tasked Jaiswal with coaching 650 police constable aspirants in Indore. (Photo| EPS)

MADHYA PRADESH: A 54-year-old firefighter is on a mission to help youngsters from poor families to achieve their dream of serving the police, paramilitary forces and the Indian Army.

Om Prakash Jaiswal is a champion middle and long-distance runner belonging to the Madhya Pradesh Police. The state sports and youth welfare department has appointed him to coach 650 police constable aspirants in Indore. Jaiswal wants to help at least one lakh youngsters belonging to poor families to get recruited into the state police forces and Army.

Jaiswal joined the state police as a constable in the Special Armed Force (SAF) in 1986. He joined the Fire Services wing of the state police in 1999 as a Fireman (constable). In the police force, he developed into a promising middle- and long-distance runner in all related track events, including races starting from 800 meters to 10,000 m.

In 2000, Jaiswal broke a 22-year-old MP state police record in Full Marathon. That remains unbroken.
In 2016, he entered the Golden Book of World Records by setting along with his team a new Shot Put Relay record of 782 throws in Indore. A winner of 40 state medals in middle and long-distance running, Jaiswal’s stint with free-of-cost physical training coaching started in 2011, while he practiced at the Nehru Stadium and Gandhi Hall in Indore.

“My first student was Purshottam Bishnoi, a police constable hailing from Harda district. His persistent requests forced me to start training him free of cost at the Nehru Stadium, Malhar Ashram and Gandhi Hall,” says Jaiswal. Soon his first batch of trainees swelled to 36, including promising Chhindwara girl Shraddha Yadav. All 36 trainees not only cleared the physical test for the sub-inspector recruitment test, but some of them, including Purshottam, emerged as toppers in the test. All those 36 trainees became sub-inspectors. While Purshottam is the Reserve Inspector in Khandwa district now, Shraddha too is promoted as an inspector and is posted at the Police Training College in Indore, Jaiswal said.

Khandwa Police’s RI Purshottam Bishnoi has fond memories. “I had travelled with Jaiswal sir at police sports tourneys while being a constable in Indore. While he was into athletics, I was a kabbadi player. He gave us free coaching in 2011-12. All 36 from our first batch of trainees cleared the physical exam for the sub inspector’s post.”

“I was never into sports, so I was worried about how I’ll be able to clear the rigorous physical exam for the sub-inspector post in 2012. OP sir within a short span worked wonders for me and I cleared the physical exam,” recalls Inspector Shraddha Yadav.

His decade-old free-of-cost physical training for police and army aspirants hasn’t been easy. His success has made many professional coaches his enemies. “Many anonymous complaints were made against me, which led to departmental probes, but my honesty and dedication saw me get a clean chit in all probes. I’ve largely spent money from my own pocket on the coaching.”

His elder son Jai Prakash, who too is now a police constable posted in Indore and younger son Ajay Jaiswal (pursuing a Bachelor of Physical Education course in Indore) too has joined his father in training the police and Army aspirants at Chiman Bag Ground in Indore. “After retirement as a firefighter six years from now, I’ll be able to focus solely on training youngsters in the long jump, middle and long-distance running,” Jaiswal said.

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