Rachakonda Police of Telangana state- Serving Souls in Covid19 Pandemic

Humaneness and sensitivity have long been perceived to be hidden behind the Khaki. The COVID 19 pandemic brought the nation to a standstill through lockdown. However, the police have geared themselves up in no time to be tough on implementation of lockdown on one hand and to lend a helping hand to those suffering due to the lockdown on the other hand. 
Rachakonda Police of Telangana state under the leadership of Sri Mahesh Bhagwat IPS, Commissioner of Police has been a fore runner in serving the public. COVID 19 policing has engaged the force in enforcing physical distancing in markets and other permitted places, cracking down on the violators, seizing the vehicles, checking entry and exit to jurisdiction, identifying the positive patients, their contacts, setting up containment zones, security at hospitals, shifting patients to hospitals, quarantine centers, checking home quarantined people, surveillance to enforce curfew, enrolling migrant labor, sending them to their states, dealing with stressed people for being stranded, liaison with other departments, ensuring logistics for carrying out all these and so on.    

Behind the shield of Police action, there is also the compassion of Police which is a face only seldom seen and perceived by few only. Rachakonda Police has always been a pioneer in initiating many programs to serve the public. The COVID 19 has only presented another set of scenarios to be addressed by the Police. Spearheaded by Sri Mahesh Bhagwat IPS, Commissioner of Police, Rachakonda, several initiatives and programs have been taken up by the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate.  

Corona is threatening but Hunger is saddening –    
Lockdown imposed due to Corona has caused colossal loss and burden on the livelihoods of poor and downtrodden, leaving them at a stroke of despair. The tough, stern paternal show of Police is for the safety of public. However, being the first line of interaction with public, the police gets to see and know the plight of the public first hand. Herein arose the maternal instinct of police, when they started feeding the thousands of poor and migrant labors.    
In the initial days the efforts have been lone and singular by individual police officers on the field but in no time, the Commissioner of Police formed a special unit at Commissionerate level to coordinate the efforts of all police officers on ground.
The role of the special unit is to collate their efforts, act as a single point for all the helping hands approaching and offering their services to the public through the Commissionerate, guiding them and ensuring food and dry ration is supplied to the needy. So far, nearly 600 individuals, 80 companies and 90 NGOs have associated with Rachakonda Police in serving the needy and poor.  Around 50 lakh meals and per head meal kits have been served till now during the lockdown period.
The Grapes of Wrath – Migrant workers 
The woes of migrant workers during the lockdown are beyond description. The pictures and videos of thousands of them walking barefooted with infants, with pregnant women, with kids is disheartening. Moved by their plight, the Government of Telangana has affirmed that not a single migrant worker will have to sleep with hunger. Accordingly, Rachakonda Commissionerate has piped in several donors to feed them in their areas. Areas with high concentration of migrant workers have been identified and cooked food and dry ration have been supplied to them. Singular calls to corona control room have also been taken care of by supplying them with cooked food or dry ration.    

A pioneering initiative has been taken up by Rachakonda Police in partnership with Tata Institute of Social Sciences to conduct a socio-economic profiling and need assessment survey of migrant workers in Rachakonda limits. Nearly 10,669 workers have been interviewed personally about their requirements. Wherever interventions were required, they were attended to.  For instance, requirement of dry ration kits, medicines, health checkup specially to sick and pregnant women, water supply, rental issues with owners were addressed. 44000 guest workers sent by Sramik express to their native states from Rachakonda in coordination with Revenue, South Central Railway and health department. For those going by walk in partnership with civil societies like Bhumika collective and Nalgonda.org a NRI forum buses were organized.
Addressing the Lockdown Blues –  
Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise… In the meantime we have to deal with it. Loneliness, inability to go out, distanced from near and dear, worry about the state of affairs, stress of employment have put people in trauma. To resolve this, they have provided assistance and counselling, by initiating a psycho-social counselling call center manned by professionals. Several calls have been received and appropriate counselling has been done to them. The effort has been diverse with follow up calls to the caller to verify their state.    
Adoption of Shelter Homes –    
Old age homes, Orphanages and Homes for Specially Abled Persons are abodes for the inmates and places which need special attention during times of crisis. These homes mostly depend on the services of kind hearted people in the society. During this lockdown, neither these people are able to serve them nor the managements are in a position to venture out to manage things. Sri Mahesh Bhagwat IPS, Commissioner of Police Rachakonda, in a most thoughtful gesture, decided to adopt these homes on behalf of Rachakonda Police Commissionerate. The requirement of each of the home is assessed by the concerned SHO and furnished to the CP Office. The Citizen Volunteer Cell of CP Office managing the procurement and distribution of food, ration and other relief material then maps the donors to the homes and ensures that all that is necessary is supplied to them. Through out the Commissionerate, 77 homes have been identified and all 2876 of them have been supplied with dry ration, medicines, etc. Rachakonda Police have avowed that they would take care of these    
Caring for Mothers –  
Of the identified categories of people who are prone to Corona infection, pregnant women are considered more sensitive due to the danger of passing on the virus to the baby. Considering this, Rachakonda Police has initiated a program to support the pregnant women with a nutrition kit and instill confidence among them. The beneficiaries are identified through the local PHC. So far PHCs in the limits of 4 police stations with 700 pregnant women have been served with a kit comprising of ragi malt, dates, dry fruit, milk in tetrapack, a carton of eggs and fruits.    
Ensuring dignity of Women –    
Added to the plight of migrant workers, is the menstrual issue faced by women walking kilometers or at makeshift shelters. To meet the untold agony, Rachakonda Police has distributed 8000 sanitary napkin packets to the women.  
Transgender inclusive –  
The often missed out or neglected community in service is transgender community. Rachakonda Police has distributed dry ration kits to all transgenders in the pockets of areas where they mostly inhabit.  
Singing Cops –  
Couple of officers have used their passion to address the Covid policing needs. While one has urged the public through his song to be cautious of and take safety measures, the other has composed a song on a positive note to motivate people.    
Celebrating in adversity –    
Small things make life happy, especially during the hard times of lockdown. More when it comes from near and dear. While many have been stranded and unable to travel, sons and daughters of residents of Rachakonda living in other states or abroad have requested Police to wish their mother or father or kids on their behalf on the occasion of their birthdays. Rachakonda Police have happily obliged their request and turned to be a cause for a smile on their faces.    
Tapping the Energy and Time of Youth –  
A Volunteer Cell has been formed at Commissionerate Office by enrolling youth who are relatively free during the lockdown. Scores of volunteers are working in managing food distribution and food supply management, TISS survey of migrant workers, medical check up to staff and migrant workers, psychological counselling, dog feeding, etc.    
Facilitating the Public Amidst Lockdown –    
E- Pass, a critical factor which is quite debilitating to the public otherwise always on the go, is the restriction placed on the movement. More so in case of those providing essential services during the lockdown period, for those in medical emergency, for those who are stranded and so on. Enabling an e platform to obtain pass for a hassle-free movement has been one of the earliest interventions undertaken by Rachakonda Police and is the first in Telangana State to launch a portal for the benefit of public to obtain e-pass.    
Non-Medical Emergency Transport Services – 
While medical emergencies are attended by ambulances, it has been observed that the public are in requirement of transport for other nonemergency, medical or otherwise but essential purposes like a regular dialysis treatment, a critical injection to be taken periodically, a follow up checkup after a surgery or any procedure, regular dressing, ration for a physically handicapped or elderly couple, etc. Rachakonda Police partnered with Mahindra alyte and Srinivasa Tours and Travels who came forward to place their vehicles at the disposal of the Police for catering to the public requirements as noted above. So far, 1660 calls have been received and attended by the operators and control room requesting for the service.  
Rachakonda Police is always geared up to meet any emergencies but wishes that with the cooperation of public, soon in the joint fight against the Corona virus, the frontline warriors will emerge victorious. Rachakonda Police expresses its gratitude to the Government of Telangana, Telangana State Police,  Medical department, other government departments, essential service providers, citizens for enabling Rachakonda Police stand ahead in the fight. Rachakonda Police also thanks all those partners who served as a beacon of hope in humanity in these testing times of COVID 19.  

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