A cop who lives for the love of the people
Started in 2015, Operation Smile was a campaign launched by the Ghaziabad police to trace and recover missing children. The operation has yielded stunning results and has directly led to the reunion of 3,178 children with their families. Among the pioneer individuals who first conceptualised and then spearheaded the campaign, which has now been adopted by multiple states of the Indian subcontinent was Kumar Ranvijay Singh, Additional DCP, Noida. It is not uncommon to hear press briefs about waxing eloquent on the successes of the operation such as recently in the month of January, as many as 3,178 missing children, including 277 girls, engaged as labourers or seeking alms across the Telangana State, were rescued by Telangana police during the month-long drive to trace missing children. Of them, a total of 2,373 children are from Telangana, while the remaining 805 belong to other states.
Little is spoken about the fundamental and the pivotal role played by Singh, Additional DCP, Noida. One finds him sitting in his office on his swivel chair, the unassuming police officer very graciously asks each and every person who knocks at his door to take a seat in his ever accommodating office. A young woman walks up to him and presents him with a chocolate, just thanking him for being a kind and a helpful police officer. The surprise gift brings a huge smile on his face, and he feels honoured with the gesture. He says, “This is what we live for - The love of people.”
A masters in Philosophy from Delhi University, he feels empathy, compassion, active listening, conflict resolution and building trust are the foremost pillars of an enforcement organisation. He says, “ I don’t believe in serving people mechanically. Connecting yourself with the issues of people as if they are your own is important. The ability to understand and share someone else’s feelings, to know what it’s like to be in somebody else’s shoes and it is always appreciated. It allows for a deeper understanding of what other individuals are experiencing. In turn, this leads to more positive interactions and communication between police officers and the people they encounter.”
Compassion also forms one of the key tenets of police work. “Treating individuals with compassion, whether they’re witnesses, victims, or suspects helps build a rapport and brings healing to dangerous and traumatic situations. Compassion with sensitivity is perhaps the most important attribute for modern police officers in their daily interactions,” says Singh, the son of a war veteran who fought the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
In the pandemic, Singh ensured that no one went hungry and distributed food packets personally. The Additional DCP, believes that to build trust in the community, police officers must be in constant communication with citizens, listening to their wants and needs, and building a rapport with those they work with on a day-to-day basis. Narrating an incident, he says, “ An executive who was stuck here in Noida in the pandemic had to return to his expecting wife but couldn’t as there were no modes of travel. We facilitated his return to Bareilly where he welcomed a baby boy with his wife.”
He smilingly continues, “ The Muslim family named the boy, Rannvijay Khan, as a token of appreciation. These are reflections of the bonds we forge, the promises we keep and actions we undertake for the larger good of people.”
Commenting on the negative light in which police officers are perceived, he says, “The perception of law enforcement is created by its relationships with community members. Building trust means acting in a manner that promotes community safety and security, and avoiding actions that can undermine trust.”
In a very thoughtful manner, his parting comment is, “Social issues can not be handled by law but by human connection.”