74 RRs Symphony of Awareness Across Rural India
- Muskan Khandelwal
- Published on 10 Dec 2023, 4:00 pm IST
- 3 minutes read
- IPS Probationers of 74RR initiated a project named ‘Cyber Panchayat’
- The project aims to spread awareness about the cyber world among villagers
- The initiative leverages social media, with IPS officers using their hobbies, such as Haryanvi Ragni singing, to create engaging content
A vision to spread cyber literacy through India’s villages has come to life through the ‘Cyber Panchayat’ project, a brainchild of the IPS probationers of 74RR from the states of Haryana, UP and Rajasthan. The project was led by Dr. Rajesh Mohan, an IPS officer of the 2021 batch, who shared insights into this groundbreaking initiative with Indian Masterminds.
The Cyber Panchayat, at its core, is a response to a critical gap in existing cyber awareness programs. Dr. Rajesh Mohan noted that the prevalent issue is the dominance of content in English and a top-down approach, leaving the rural populace disconnected.
The project takes inspiration from the traditional panchayat model, embodying a community-centric, grassroot effort with a primary focus on delivering cyber awareness in local languages. The three-pillared strategy of the Cyber Panchayat unfolds like a captivating saga of change: ‘Grameen’ (Rural), ‘Cyber Pathshala’ (Cyber School), and ‘Social Media Outreach.’
GRAMEEN BRIDGING THE GAP
Similar to the traditional panchayat’s role in rural governance, the Cyber Panchayat takes its officers to the very heart of villages. Officers interact with villagers, fostering an open dialogue that facilitates the exchange of ideas and solutions. This initiative not only demystifies the complexities of the cyber world but also builds trust between the police force and the community.
The Cyber Pathshala introduces a novel approach by bringing cyber education directly into village schools. IPS probationers engage with students, conducting surveys to gauge the existing awareness levels about cybercrime basics. “The effectiveness of the Cyber Panchayat is already evident. Surveys conducted in Haryana schools revealed a significant improvement in awareness about basic cybercrime concept,” the officer shared.
SOCIAL MEDIA OUTREACH
Recognizing the power of social media in the digital age, the Cyber Panchayat leverages this platform to disseminate content in local languages. Dr. Rajesh Mohan shares his experience of using his hobby, Haryanvi Ragni singing, to create engaging content that resonates with the local population. “The challenge lies in transcending language barriers within a diverse group of IPS probationers, but the initiative is making strides on a pilot basis,” the officer added.
Acknowledging the diverse backgrounds of the IPS probationers, Dr. Mohan highlighted the initial challenges faced in conducting meetings in local languages. However, through perseverance and commitment, these hurdles have been overcome, turning the initiative into a pilot success.
He further informed Indian Masterminds that one identified challenge is the “tunnel syndrome,” where victims of cybercrime, enticed by fraudulent schemes, fear reporting the crimes due to perceived financial incentives. The project has even earned accolades, with the Zone II group receiving the NDRF Trophy for Community Engagement at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA).
A VISION FOR THE FUTURE
As the Cyber Panchayat moves forward, Dr. Rajesh Mohan, who served as the group leader in Zone II, envisions the initiative expanding to independent charges in various states. “The hope is that this innovative model of cyber awareness will continue in rural communities, creating a safer and more informed digital landscape,” the officer said in conclusion.
As these officers carry the torch forward, their vision is clear: to empower every villager with the knowledge and resilience needed to navigate the complexities of the cyber world. The Cyber Panchayat is not just about spreading awareness; it’s about igniting a digital revolution from the grassroot level.
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