The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Chai, pani and toilet gift for Mumbai police

Mumbai, Nov. 18: The way to a man’s heart, they say, is through his stomach. Ditto for police.

Residents of Napean Sea Road, one of the poshest addresses of Mumbai, have devised a novel way of getting things done from a usually reticent police force. They have got together to provide the policemen on duty some chai, pani and a toilet.

The residents are hopeful the results will start showing soon. “We are just pooling in to provide the cops some much-needed respite,” says Ajit Mahajan, adding with a smile, “and hoping they will do better.”

The Napean Sea Residents’ Association has already installed a water-cooler and a water-heater at the police post. They have also got a building firm to give the policemen a year’s supply of drinking water, tea, milk and sugar.

Mukesh Mehta, president of the association, says: “We found out that the police chowki did not have even the most basic of facilities. They had no supply of drinking water and each time they wanted to have tea, they would take off from work and walk right across the road to a tea stall. Now they won’t have to do this. Moreover, all this will only help us get better response from the police.”

Another resident, Parakash Sharma, said while there are all kinds of initiatives for the police and the army from local residents in the UK and US, no one in India thinks of such gestures.

“We always feel that they should do what they are paid for. We forget that theirs is one of the most stressful of jobs. Perhaps, this will start a chain reaction of sorts and make the police realise that if people are so nice to them, they should be equally nice in return.”

The policemen, meanwhile, are pleased as punch. K. Jadhav, a senior official at the Malabar Hill police station, under whose jurisdiction the grateful police chowki falls, said it took them some time to believe that the residents were actually reaching out to help them.

“Often policemen complain that theirs is an ungrateful job. This just proves that there are people who feel for the police force. The officers (about 30) and the constables (200) at the chowki will be mighty pleased with this,” Jadhav said.

However, not all policemen are happy with the turn of events.

“As it is, people always complain we are lazy and don’t do enough, now they will have a greater reason to complain. They will say we are not doing our job even when they feed us and look after us,” a constable said.

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