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Making School Children Police Friendly With ‘Khaki Ke Rang, School Ke Sang’ Initiative

‘Khaki Ke Rang, School Ke Sang’is an initiative started by IPS officer Bhojram Patel in Korba District of Chhattisgarh to make the fear of police go away from the minds of the children of government schools so that they can approach them freely to report any crime. It's a child-friendly approach of police where children are encouraged to be vocal about crimes and report them immediately to the police. Under this programme, children are also taught self defense techniques. Special teams led by women officers visit schools regularly to counsel and train the students.
Indian Masterminds Stories

These days the school children of Korba district in Chhattisgarh are interacting very closely with the police department. Because of the efforts of the department to have frequent friendly interactions with children under their programme, ‘Khaki ke Rang, School Ke Sang’, a brainchild of IPS officer Bhojram Patel, children are opening up about the problems they are facing and taking advice on how to tackle them. All this is happening in a very casual and friendly manner as the main objective of the initiative is to make the fear of police go away from the minds of the children so that they can approach them freely to report any wrongdoing.

Indian Masterminds spoke to IPS officer Bhojram Patel, who is the Superintendent of Police, Korba District, to find out about this special initiative.

IPS Officer Bhojram Patel, SP Korba District Chhattisgarh

KHAKI KE RANG, SCHOOL KE SANG

As the name itself suggests, the objective of the initiative is to remove any fear for police from the minds of the school children and make them approach them unhesitatingly and share their problems with them in a friendly manner. SP Patel said, “Before joining the police service I had served as a teacher for around 7 years and one thing that I observed was that khaki or vardi always attracts children. The star, badges, caps etc., give them a sense of pride. So, the name is inspired by this observation.”

The objective of this programme is to make school children mentally, as well as physically, strong and make them aware of the protections against various crimes provided by law, make them fearless about raising their voice against crimes, and assure them that their friends in the form of police are always there to help them.

THE AGENDA

Lady Constable Giving Demonstration How To Defend In The Time Of Emergency

Mr. Patel informed Indian Masterminds that special teams have been formed under this programme. There are three teams headed by three lady sub-inspectors. And there is one photographer and two lady constables in every team. Twice a week, they interact with children and, to make it more engaging, they use powerpoint presentations and present real-life examples so that children can easily comprehend them. “We enlighten them about basic laws like POCSO Act 2012 (Protection of Children against Sexual offences), cyber bullying and protection against it, common traffic rules, adverse effects due to drug addiction, and very useful tactics of self defense that they can practice in times of emergency,” he said.

He also informed that the aim of the police department is to encourage students to become more aware and responsible not only towards their own life but also of the people around them. “In families where children are more friendly with their parents, the probability of crime is generally reduced. We want to develop the same concept in schools, where children can tell their teachers or directly report to us in case of any unfortunate situation.”

Glimpses Directly From Schools

ROLE ASSIGNMENT

Another important aspect of this programme, which is mainly for the students of high school and higher secondary classes, is role assignment. Since its inception on September 5, 2021,different experiments have been tried out to make it more systematic. Assigning the roles of TI (Thana In-charge) and Cyber SP to the class monitor and teacher respectively is one of the experiments. Any student who witnesses any kind of bullying outside the school by any stranger can directly report to the concerned class monitor who will then convey the message to the class teacher. If the case is found sensitive and serious by the teacher, then she can directly call the police for help.

“It’s a kind of exercise which not only develops a sense of responsibility but also encourages the reporting culture. This is the future generation. Maybe some of them will be a part of the police department one day. So, it’s important that, apart from academics, they should also learn how to become good and responsible citizens,” Mr. Patel said.

He cites examples from his own school days. “I used to be the class monitor and I use to feel the same sense of responsibility that time that I feel today as an IPS officer. As a monitor, I was responsible for my class fellows who used to be in need of money for fees, uniform, books, etc.”

THE COMPLAINT BOX

The Lady Cop Who Is Showing The Tactics Of Self Defence.

Under ‘Khaki ke Rang, School ke Sang’ programme, one complaint box is also installed in schools. Sometimes, the psychological impact of incidents leaves a long-lasting effect, rendering children incapable of speaking about them. In such cases, when the children find it difficult to express their problem in front of the officer or teacher, they can simply write a letter and drop it into the complaint box.

Mr. Patel said that the main focus of this programme is the girl child. When the special teams visit the schools, the well-trained lady constables demonstrate to the girl students how they can defend themselves by folding legs, kicking on sensitive parts, freeing hands, etc.

“The response that we are getting is so good that principals from schools invite us to come and train their students. We are also planning to start similar kinds of programmes for college students now. Police is a part of the government that was established to serve the public. This is not the British era where people needed to fear police. If the citizens will support us, we will definitely be able to change the mindset of all towards policing,” the officer summed up.


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