Coronavirus curfew: Knights in khaki deliver essentials, food to Mohali colonies
Walking into a police station in Mohali amid the coronavirus curfew is a completely new experience. Instead of writing FIRs, the staff will be found busy packing rations and cooked food to be distributed among the homeless and those living in slums and colonies of the city.
The cops instead of making crime entries in the log register are busy keeping a record of the ration as well as food distributed and how much more is required on a daily basis.
A senior policeman who was busy packing at the Phase 1 police station said, “Along with some good Samaritans, we, too, are contributing from our pockets towards purchase of ration, while our friends and relatives are coming forward to donate as well. We pack the ration in hampers that are given to each family. Each packet includes flour, pulses, sugar, and oil.”
Around 20 police stations, eight police posts and all 13 traffic zones in the district are ensuring no one goes without food in the district. Many police stations serving cooked food have decided on a menu for different days of the week to introduce variety.
“On some days, we serve kheer or curry rice, on others sweet rice, chhole-poori, or aalu-poori. Nobody can eat the same thing everyday,” said the senior policeman. There are days when even fruit is distributed, he added.
HAPPY TO SEE POLICE AT DOORSTEP
Unlike other days when the presence of police would invoke confusion, residents are happy to see the khaki-clad teams and are coming forward to identify families in dire need of food and other essential items.
“The police control room as well as police officers are getting calls seeking help. People even help us identify the families who need food and other essentials. We are here to serve the residents,” said Kuldeep Singh Chahal, senior superintendent of police (SSP), Mohali.
“A lot of organisations, are coming forward to donate. As the movement is restricted, they are coming to the police station or approaching us to accompany them for distribution, which we are readily doing,” said Rajiv Kumar, station house officer, Mataur.
POLICE TAKING PRECAUTIONS
“We are preparing food in police stations and ensuring proper hygiene is maintained. We have tied up with local gurdwaras as well to cook food for us,” said Baljinder Singh Mand, police post in-charge, Industrial Area, Phase 8, Mohali.
He added that while distributing food, servers wear gloves and masks, and social distancing norms are strictly adhered to.
“To ensure that there is no chaos during distribution, we are deploying a couple of constables and making announcements that ration packets will be delivered at people’s homes,” said Ramadeep Singh, DSP (city), Mohali, who was busy supervising the distribution of ration in Jagatpura, one of the biggest colonies in Mohali.
Besides feeding humans, the SHO of Phase 8, Rajnish Chaudhary, and some other police officials regularly feed stray animals in Mohali to ensure they don’t starve amid the curfew.