April 11, 2020
Social media has been largely unfair. While negatives go viral, positives are not shared as much. While the cops have been battling to ensure there is no violation to Section 144; maintain social distancing and ensure that the lockdown is total, the good work done by them often goes unnoticed.
The policemen are facing an unprecedented challenge with the Corona virus pandemic engulfing the nation. Despite strained by staffing shortages and compelled by limitations, they have been assisting the public in every manner they can.
Setting an example is the Trichy range where 1755 senior citizens living alone in the five districts, coming under the Trichy range, get personalised care.
An exercise was undertaken to identify senior citizens living alone so that they could be provided personalised care for they constitute the most vulnerable section for corona virus infection. The exercise was carried out with the following objectives:
i)To create awareness among senior citizens staying alone about the precautions to be taken against the spread of corona virus, as mortality rate among the aged has been proved high all over the world.
ii)To meet out personal requirements of senior citizens – both medical and non medical – by volunteers/dedicated beat officers.
iii)Regular and periodical monitoring of their requirements to ensure proper social distancing.
The Senior Citizens Care programme was started in Trichy Range with 189 Police Officers ear marked for 1755 senior citizens living alone. As a sizeable number of them are living in villages and small towns they do not possess cell phones to contact district authorities. So, to physical verify the senior citizens, volunteers have been roped in. Dedicated beat officers visit the senior citizens once a week.
A mobile app has been developed to enable signing up by volunteers interested in senior citizen care.
2. Caring for the uncared
A survey of the marginal groups like the homeless, dwelling along road sides, was taken by police, and it was found that there were 57 families with 121 women and 65 children. As the elderly and children are more prone to Corona, the ACTU Inspectors persuaded them to move to safer places with the help of NGOs and philanthropists. The families have been provided with masks and soaps to protect them from any infection. Their ration requirements have also been taken care of.
3. Transgender welfare
Transgenders , yet another vulnerable group that depend on business establishments for their sustenance on day-to-day basis were also severely hit because of the lockdown. Awareness on the spread of the virus and the methods to take precaution was created by the police to 374 transgenders living in Trichy range.
Assisting the mentally challenged
The cops have so far rescued 118 mentally challenged people from the streets and accommodated them in different homes. Another drive was undertaken after the outbreak of Corona virus to rescue the remaining 22 persons and shelter them in homes to prevent them from contracting infection.
5. Engaging ‘Police Self Help Groups’ (SHG)
Self Help Groups have been formed with the family members of police personnel in all the districts in Trichy Range to promote the habit of saving and to encourage them to engage in income generating activities.
The groups came in handy when the corona outbreak assumed serious proportions resulting in lock down. To tide over the initial shortage of masks in districts to supply to the police personnel these groups were engaged to produce thousands of masks that were later distributed the police personnel on duty.
Enrolment of volunteers to battle Corona via mobile App
1290 volunteers including 231 government servants have been mobilized to assist police in the battle against Corona. To enable the volunteers to sign up for volunteering, a mobile application has been developed in which the volunteers can sign up with personal details, options regarding district, nature of activities, which one can involve in, and the police station limit he/she is interested to work in.
Similarly, police can post messages of request for volunteers, with the details of date, time and nature of work so that the interested volunteers can select from the list. This has been primarily developed to take care of 1755 senior citizens living alone in all the five districts. Based on the preference of area given by the volunteers, they will be assigned duties to take care of the senior citizens.
The lockdown situation has been giving rise to various mental issues including isolation-induced depression, confinement in the houses, forced continuation in abusive relationships and withdrawal syndrome among alcohol addicts triggering vulnerable people to commit suicides.
Numbers have been shared among the public for online counselling for people with suicidal tendencies. The list of alcohol addicts have been collected from village Panchayat members to organize counselling programmes through psychologists and Alcohol Anonymous.
The app can be downloaded from the following link and will be available in google paly store in two days.
Massive phone contact programme to detect domestic violence:
The lockdown situation is also known to perpetuate domestic violence especially when a woman is forced to live in a toxic relationship with an abuser. The women strength in All Women Police Stations have been asked to contact all the victims who have reported for violence in the reported in the last three years to check if they are facing any problems. A standard questionnaire has been developed.