Students of Zilla School, Ranchi, will participate in the art competition on Friday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
Are they feared or are they revered? Are they thought of as a friend or as a foe? Do youngsters see them as their guide and protector? These and many similar questions have prompted Jharkhand police to go an extra mile to plug the communication gap with people, particularly GenY.
As India’s police force completes 150 years of its existence since 1861, the men in khaki are looking up to schoolchildren to help them improve their image. Eighteen cradles — one each from every Ranchi police station — has been selected to express their feelings about the force through art. In coming days, similar events will be held in every district.
“A picture is worth a thousand words. Art can be light and hearty, and yet hold a serious message. So, we have asked each selected school to hold a painting competition at 10am on Friday,” city SP Vipul Shukla said, adding that a run for police, from Albert Ekka Chowk to Morabadi grounds, was also scheduled the morning after.
Among the selected secondary and senior secondary institutions are St Xavier’s, St Louis (Argora), Zilla School, LEBB (Bangla) School, Kairali School, Guru Nanak School, Vikas Vidyalaya and Delhi Public School. “We have included both government and private cradles for greater coverage,” pointed out Shukla.
He said principal of each school had been asked to seek participation of at least 100 students. “The competition is primarily restricted to higher classes, but talented junior students too can make their contribution,” he said.
According to Shukla, the main objective of the contest was to get unbiased feedback on functioning of the police machinery and innovative suggestions to improve the system, besides sensitising school students about the force.
“Normally, you hear parents intimidating children using our name. They are even advised not to report mishaps to ‘avoid harassment’. Harassment at police stations may or may not be true, but we can’t become better without people showing us the way. The best and logical suggestions will be adopted by us,” he said.
Winners will be selected through a two-tier process.
“First, the school will shortlist 8-10 best canvases. Then, our screening committee will pick the best. We are mulling a programme in January to award winners at state and district levels. I will monitor the entire process and will also compile a detailed report for further perusal,” he said.
Shukla added that some of the best works might also find places of pride at various police stations.