Police stations conjure up bleak images — dingy lock-ups, stern officers and dull functional buildings, catering strictly to the business of crime-control.
How about a play zone for a change? Andhra Pradesh has just inaugurated a children-friendly police station, the first of its kind in the country. What is unique about this police station at Kavali, a town in Nellore district, is that it has an entire block devoted to children — jungle gyms, slides, swings, see-saws and sand pits.
Goodies are galore. A section full of assorted toys for children of various age groups, a library and a television set beaming popular children's channels add to the fun. "The idea is to remove unfounded fears children harbour against the men in khaki and drive home the message that policemen are the sentinels of a safe society — a guard against lawlessness. It will go a long way in projecting a more friendly face," director general of police Swaranjit Sen said.