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Police station with a difference



The general picture that we have of the police, and more particularly of police stations, is remarkably similar all over the country. Police personnel are often seen as lacking in common courtesy and their stations a social and public health ordeal. More often than not, police and police stations are entities we would rather avoid, if not otherwise fatefully challenged to confront. The Sadar Police Station (Shillong) could force a change in this conventional perception. During a recent visit to this station I was honestly surprised by its earnest welcoming appearance, ably complemented by the friendly and caring conduct of its officers. This was in stark contrast to the brashness I had encountered a few years back in the same police station. The transformation is said to have been brought about by Insp D.K. Prasad and his smart and sharp officers. While through this letter I wish to commend the Officer-in-Charge of Sadar Police station and his officers, I would also like to urge that other stations and their officers model themselves on the example set forth by the Sadar Police station. This transformation even if considered symbolic and superficial by some, is important, as it could help develop the much needed public legitimacy of police and state power. Rather than being seen simply as the coercive arm of the state, such makeovers can set the template for a more social and citizen-friendly police force.

Yours etc.,

Rajesh Dev,

University of Delhi

Camp: Shillong

School bus service – A worthwhile bargain


 A load of worries the parents of Shillong city carry is debilitating. First, the concern is about how lucky they will be each morning to catch hold of a local taxi in time to drop their children to the school. It’s hard to get a taxi easily in the early hours. Second, once the cab is boarded another worry overwhelms — whether the taxi will reach on time or not. The long jam is a daily ordeal and a disquieting phenomenon.  It takes a heavy toll on each guardian. Sometimes a mere 10-minute delay to reach the school might spoil the whole day.

Let’s dissect the situation to see what is contributing to the long road jams. For a discerning person answers and solutions are at his fingertips.  A sage Mr J. Mawthoh claims that if the commuting private vehicles carrying just one or two wards are stopped the traffic snarls will ease up. He also says that the majority of students of these posh schools come individually in their posh vehicles which is one of the main causes of the early hour jams.’   

 Yes, the stressful commuting to schools and back to home every day has prompted many to suggest the compulsory switching over to the school buses instead of individual private cars. The bus service will automatically reduce the number of small vehicles on the streets. The lesser the number of vehicles on the road, the lesser the traffic jam! Car-pooling is another good option. Isn’t it a lucrative opportunity which some entrepreneurial agencies can grab at?

My suggestion is that schools located in Laitumkhrah should consider starting the school bus service. In larger public interest the government should make it mandatory for Shillong city now. The majority of schools in the metros like Delhi, Mumbai et al have an impeccable bus service for ferrying the school students. School buses are plying with zero security issue there. So, could we not replicate the same in the Shillong town? Initially, it could be started in a phased manner. Yes, security of the students is the most important. For this the responsible attendants should be roped in who will act as guardians to the children. The only sad thing is that the elite will have to compromise on their luxury. But, have not the stresses on the road virtually taken over the luxury? For now we can only heave a sigh of relief if the traffic movement  is assured through school bus service. This is a worthwhile bargain.

Yours etc.,

Salil Gewali,

Shillong -2

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