The Gujarat government has initiated a programme to provide training to school children, on the lines of National Cadet Corps (NCC), in a bid to inculcate defence mechanism skills and cultivate habits of good citizenship in the students.
"Under the project 'Suraksha Setu', school children will be sensitised about different functions performed by police. They will be educated about the role of police and will be taught to act as link between police and society," Gujarat in-charge Director General of Police (DGP) Pramod Kumar told PTI.
"Children will get police uniforms, and police personnel will teach them. They will get a real life experience of how a police personnel functions," Kumar added. Kumar said the school children will not only be trained in basic aspects of policing, they will be taught to be good citizens in the society.
"It is not only about training. Mutual respect for elder citizens, how students can act as link between police and society and how they can act as catalyst for change will be imparted to them under this training programme," Kumar further said. Additional Director General of Police (Administration) A K Singh said that school children will be taught to act as responsible young citizens.
"The whole idea is not to impose training on them, but an idea to influence the minds and behaviour of children," he said. When asked how the training offered under this programme was different to training offered under NCC, Singh said, "NCC is more of a career-oriented programme for defence services while this training programme is aimed at building community leadership and cultivate habits of responsible citizenship among students." He said the state government issued directions for roll-out of the programme last week and it was started in Surat in South Gujarat recently.
"We don't want to rush with the programme. We don't want to force this on school children. Rather, we want children to take this up voluntarily," Singh said, adding that they expect the programme to evolve and develop at its own pace.
Suraksha Setu is a state-wide public outreach programme of the state's home department aimed at taking the role of police beyond solving crimes by bridging the gap with the society and by creating a feeling of trust among residents with their proactive and prompt actions.
The project, which was commenced an year back, intends to give a human face to the police force and minimise incidents of crime in the society.
Suraksha Setu Societies have been formed at state, district and commissionerate levels. The societies are registered under Gujarat Societies Act. The Society has a governing council for general administration and executive committee for day to day activities.