The Pratapgarh police will replace complaint boxes with ‘Mann Ki Baat’ (inner thoughts) boxes at 65 schools of the district. The idea behind the initiative is to increase the ambit of children-police communication.
“UNICEF officials, who visited the district, suggested that the word complaint has negativity attached to it. So we decided to change the name of the box,” said Pratapgarh SP Kalu Ram Rawat. The first box was replaced in a school in Dalot village last week.
“Children are curious and ask all kinds of questions. They ask a lot of career-oriented questions during our awareness programmes and we address them to the best of our knowledge,” said Rawat.
A beat constable collects the children’s letters from the box every Monday and gives them to the SHO. The SHO then individually addresses the complaints or queries. In case, an anonymous complaint is made, the SHO verifies it and a copy of the letter is send to the SP.
The district police have been holding awareness programmes at schools under the Surakshit Vidyalaya Aur Kishore Sashaktikaran initiative for last two years and conduct sessions in three schools every month.
The SP said that some 8-10 months ago a class 10 girl, motivated by one such session, had complained that a class 11 boy was teasing her. She had asked that both her parents and the boy’s parents be brought to school and the boy be beaten in front of her. The boy was brought with his parents and he apologised to the girl.
“The police have a social responsibility to reach out to the people, especially children. We want children to know the police, stay connected with the police and to learn the difference between right and wrong at an early stage,” says the SP. The students are also taken to visit police stations and even SP’s office sometimes.
“We want to increase the communication and camaraderie between children and the police. When these children grow up, they’ll make responsible citizenry and also have a much better perception of the police,” adds Rawat.