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Now People Can Visit Police Stations in Bengaluru’s South East to Read Books, Too

The South East Division of Bengaluru City Police has installed four mini libraries in police stations’ premises while another 10 will open soon The aim is to change the perception of the police in the minds of the people Books for these libraries have been gathered through voluntary donation and crowd funding

Aiming to bridge the gap between the police and the public through books, the South East Division of Bengaluru City Police recently installed mini libraries in the police station premises.

Speaking to Indian Masterminds, IPS officer C K Baba, the Deputy Commissioner of Southeast Division, shared details about the mini library in police station initiative.

MINI LIBRARIES IN POLICE STATIONS

The library initiative started by the south east division of Bengaluru City Police is to basically strengthen the community relationship. “When I am saying community relationship, I am focusing more on a community outreach programme, where the residents of the local area or the people who visit the police station get to access a rich-collection of books, journals, newspapers and magazines, which we have kept in the police station premises,” Mr. Baba said.

These libraries have fixed chair and tables, and a bookshelf containing 1000 books. So far, there are four libraries which are fully functioning and another 10 libraries are going to open soon. Each library has a register where people can share their feedback.

“People have a certain kind of fear and anxiety about visiting police stations. They carry some perceptions by watching movies, which are not true. So, with this community outreach programme, we are trying to break those perceptions and bridge the gap between the police and the public,” Mr. Baba said.

The libraries are not only meant for the people who visit the police stations,  but can be accessed by all. Anyone in the vicinity can find the library by searching online, as Google will show the library at the police station as the nearest one.

CROWDFUNDING OF BOOKS

The best part about this initiative is the crowdfunding of the books. People who are from the civil society, professors and principals, even retired ones, have called and voluntarily donated their books. The police stations, too, have their own collections of books, which were handpicked by the officer and his team, keeping in mind a variety of subjects, including literature, sculpture, nation-building, etc. So, it is a rich collection of books on myriad topics.

There is a process by which the team collects the books and shortlists them, keeping in mind the target readers. “Children also accompany their parents at times to the police stations. So, we have kept sketching and colouring books, and also provide them with sheets and crayons,” Mr. Baba said.

A DE-STRESSING AREA

Through the opening of these mini libraries, the officer and his team hope to arouse and grow people’s interest in books and reading. This will also bring those people closer to the police which, in turn, will help in changing their perception. Also, instead of waiting in the reception area, people can now just go, sit, and read in the library.

Mr. Baba said, “Reading is a de-stressing activity. People who come to the police stations and even our own personnel are under a lot of stress. So, now they can release their stress by reading books.”

The libraries serve another purpose as well. The presence of books in large numbers and seating arrangements to read them, make the police stations seem more welcoming to the public. “Every time my senior officers or I visit the police station, we make it a point to visit the library and engage in some informal chat with the people sitting there. We are receiving quite a good feedback, and this is encouraging us to get more books, especially the names suggested by some of the visitors.”  

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