A Kerala Village Bumpkin’s Journey To Be A Top Cop
- Raghav Goyal
- Published on 13 May 2021, 1:00 pm IST
- 9 minutes read
It’s said that when life hands you a lemon, make lemonade out of it. Senior IPS officer P Vijayan did precisely this; and none other than Prime Minister Narendra Modi has applauded his achievements.
- IGP P. Vijayan With Student Police Cadets (Photo Courtesy: Facebook)
Having failed in class 10 board exams does not stop you from becoming educated later on. Nor does working as a construction laborer in the teenage prevent you from becoming a civil servant. Inspector-General of Police in Kerala, Mr. P Vijayan, is a living example of the one who faced both these situations and came out with flying colours.
Born in Puthoormadam, near Kozhikode in North Kerala, Mr. Vijayan realised from the very beginning that life had handed him a sour lemon. And it would be peppered with strange ironies. For instance, in his village, most people lived up to the age of 90, yet its literacy rate was abysmal.
Perhaps it was these ironies that made Mr. Vijayan stronger and smarter. And he learned that even when pressed under the weight of really bad situations, one can also choose a way out of these. And this is what he did all along.
His father, P. Velayudhan was a farmer and owned a small land, which he used to cultivate. His mother Leela, on the other hand, was a housewife who would also help her husband in farming activities. Mr. Vijayan was the third eldest child out of a total of seven siblings, with four brothers and two sisters.
Mr. Vijayan, while speaking with the Indian Masterminds, said “People in my village are very kind and loving. The life expectancy there is also above 90 percent, however, not much of formal education is given importance.”
While growing up, he studied at a government-aided school till the seventh standard, where most of the students from the same area used to go. He was among the other siblings who went to high school which was situated four to five kilometers away from his village.
He said, “At that time jobs were not considered a big thing as me and my siblings also assisted our parents in agricultural work. I used to help my father in agricultural activities like milking cows etc. after school and on weekends.”
Failing In Class 10, Becoming Construction Labourer
As formal education is not much promoted in rural areas like Puthoormadam, children avoid showing interest in studies. Likewise, Mr. Vijayan was also deviated by the assistance he was contributing towards his parent’s agricultural work. The result of class 10 was out and it was not favorable for Mr. Vijayan. He failed in the high school exam.
While speaking in the interview, he said “The main focus of mine was not in studies but in supporting the family. I understood the condition of my parents as taking care of seven children was not an easy job. I also spoke to my father as I did not want to act as a burden to him and wanted to contribute my bit. I was good in Mathematics and Physics, but then it was not my passion or priority.”
People in that area used to start working at a very early age, mostly at construction sites as a laborer. In his neighborhood, there were many building contractors, therefore after failing in high school he started working there as a laborer. The main work was to carry the concrete mixture from one place to another. While working there for around one and a half years, he started dreaming of becoming a builder as he was highly involved in the job.
Clearing School With High Percentage
However, in December that year, a co-worker of his recommended him to join a night tuition center in a place which was five kilometers away from his native place. Keeping stock of his recommendation, he went to that place in January to figure out what it is. At the same time, class 10 exams were also scheduled in March. Two batches were made, the first batch consisted of students who were fit to appear for the exam, whereas the other batch consisted of students who were not prepared. Mr. Vijayan was allotted in the second batch.
The principal of the school encouraged him to appear for the exam that year and he accepted it. He appeared in the class 10 exam and cleared it with good marks. After scoring high percentage, a sudden realization came to the boy that he should now focus on his studies. This is when he decided to opt for further studies.
As the native language of Mr. Vijayan was Malayalam, he found the English language difficult. Therefore, he took the assistance of a tuition teacher at the night time and also started studying and preparing for class 12 exams. Sticking with the job, he appeared for the class 12 exams. He cleared the exams with a very good percentage; however, he did not want to leave the job. During that time, joining college was a lifetime opportunity for kids coming from rural areas like Puthoormadam. The coworker who recommended him to join the night tuition center job, came in the help of Mr. Vijayan again as he insisted him to join a college for further studies.
He appeared for various entrance exams and cleared almost all of them, however, he chose the college which was 10 kilometers away from his place. He opted for a graduate degree in BA. Economics. As soon as he entered college in the first year, he started participating in extracurricular activates and also formed Udaya Arts and Sports club in which drama competition and annual and seasonal sports events used to be conducted. He was named the Secretary of the club and was also simultaneously involved in social activities like charity and proving help to the homeless and poor people.
Meanwhile, Mr Vijayan also started a soap manufacturing unit with his cousin and worked in it during the three years of graduation. Here another irony met him half-way. While the soap business did not succeed, he graduated from the college as the topper of that year’s batch!
After completing graduation, Mr. Vijayan joined Calicut University to do an MA and MPhil in Economics. He completed his master’s and was awaiting the result which was due in three months. During the waiting period, he applied for the UGC Fellowship exam and subsequently got successful in it. After the completion of his post-graduation, he shifted to Thiruvananthapuram. While doing his research, he was supported by many professors there. Many of them persuaded him to appear for the civil services exam. He said, “I had it in my mind to appear for civil services exam one day, but one of the professors insisted I do it soon.”
Securing IPS In Third Attempt
Appearing for the first time, Mr. P Vijayan was able to clear the Central Secretariat Service, which he further joined and meanwhile appeared for the civil services exam again. In his second attempt, he cleared the Railways service and was undergoing the training period. While undergoing training, he again appeared for the UPSC exam and cleared IPS in the third attempt.
During his training in Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration, Mussoorie and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, Mr. Vijayan he got introduced to his wife, Dr. Beena who is an IAS officer and was an MBBS graduate. While talking about her, Mr. Vijayan said, “She was a brilliant student, from 10th standard to civil services exams, and is also a doctor.”
A Career Studded With Achievements
Mr. P Vijayan, a 1999-batch IPS officer of Kerala cadre, is at present the Inspector General of Police, serving at the Police Headquarters in Kerala. He has a keen interest in social activities and cultural programs and has initiated various projects while serving as a civil servant. Some of these include Students Police Cadets (SPC), Our Responsibility to Children (ORC), HOPE, Clean Campus Safe Campus Initiative and many more. He is also the team leader of Kerala State Anti-Narcotic Special Action Force and the State Nodal Officer of the project ‘Children and Police’ (CAP).
In his 21 years of service, he has served in various profiles, as Police Chiefs of Kasaragod, Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, and Ernakulam districts and as Commissioner of Police in Kochi, Kozhikode, Thrissur, and Thiruvananthapuram. Apart from this, he has also served as DIG (Armed Police Bn.), DIG (Intelligence), DIG (Training), and IGP (Kochi Range).
Mr. P Vijayan was also appreciated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi in ‘Mann Ki Baat’ for implementing Punyam Poonkavanam, an initiative for a responsible and conscious pilgrimage to Sabarimala. He has also been bestowed with CNN IBN Indian of the Year (Popular Choice) Award 2014; the Indian President’s Police Medal for Meritorious Service-2015, Kerala Chief Minister’s Award 2014 for Public Policy Innovation for initiating & implementing Student Police Cadet (SPC) Program & in 2019 for initiating Project Our Responsibility to Children (ORC).
Student Police Cadet (SPC)
SPC is an initiative taken by Mr. P Vijayan while he was working as the city Commissioner at that time. SPC is a school-based youth development program that focuses on producing future leaders of a democratic society by training high school students about law, discipline, civic sense, and how to be a good citizen. A state-level Advisory Committee was constituted with Mr. Jacob Punnoose (Ex-DGP-Kerala) as Chairman, senior Government officials as members, and Sri P Vijayan IPS as State Nodal Officer for the SPC Project. Up till now, it has trained more than 1,500 students.
Mr Vijayan’s journey, full of remarkable achievements, continues non-stop.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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