Just about a fortnight ago onlookers and morning walkers were surprised to see a long queue of teen girls and women at the Ahmedabad police headquarters early in the morning.
Well, this was no protest rally; the surge was for free-of-cost arms training for women, to be followed by a self-defence programme under the Gujarat government’s initiative ‘Suraksha Setu’.
The project is not just for women’s empowerment and to equip them against stalkers and eve-teasers – it also has a larger game-plan.
Independent bodies termed ‘Suraksha Setu Societies’ have been formed under the Gujarat Societies Act to bridge the gap between people and the police.
The societies have been formed at the state, commissionerate and district levels and have a governing council for general administration and executive committee for daily activities.
People can approach these societies for help without fear and apprehension of dealing with the police.
“The idea is to give a human face to the police, who should go beyond the conventional role of solving crimes and not be seen merely as a symbol of power but also perceived as a friend to people in need,” additional chief secretary (Home) S.K. Nanda told Mail Today.
Under the ‘Suraksha Setu’ project, the Vadodara Range Police have launched a programme to sell a highly subsidised device – a torchlight.
The ‘shock torch’ generates a lot of sound and a high-voltage shock (1,000 KV) to stun the opponent.
This is the first time that the Gujarat Police have taken the initiative to equip women with such a device.
According to special inspectorgeneral of police, Vadodara Range, Anupamsinh Gehlot, the equipment which were distributed by the chief minister in the tribal district of Dahod recently, have been bought by 15 college girls.
There would be a proper registration at the time of buying.
Though the device costs around Rs 1,300 in the market, the Gujarat Police would distribute it at a discount of 30 to 50 per cent.