Nagpur: “If we as Indians learn to respect the ‘khaki uniform’ ( that police wear) they will protect us better. Our class 4 police employees really live in very pathetic conditions; they stand in rain and extreme heat on guard duty for 10 to 14 hours without a respite and yet we have a tendency to look down on them as corrupt” bemoaned reputed Film Maker, Director, and now actor too, Prakash Jha, in Nagpur on a promotion tour of his latest movie “Jai Gangajal” starring Priyanka Chopra as a police officer that is releasing on 4th March.
A novel event planned for the promotion was a meet of a large police force, mostly women, adressed jointly by Dipali Masirkar, Dy. Commissioner of Police and Prakash Jha where women got to air their problems and grievances. Later the Police Commissioner Sharda Prasad Yadav also addressed the gathering and voiced his opinion on parity in service for women. Ranjan Kumar Sharma, Dy. Commissioner of Police was also on the dais as was Manav Kaul, Actor who plays the key negative role in the movie.
Events was coordinated by Sanjay Kukereja of Balaji Entertainments.
Dipali speaking on the occasion said only when more women join the force will women feel safe in India and Society as a whole will benefit.
The sad state today is that the two Indian states that have the maximum women in the police force, Maharashtra and Kerala, still have only 6% women and 94% men employees. One can only imagine the dismal ratio of other states.
More women have to come and join services, said Jha.
“They should forget any feeling of inferiority or being the ‘lesser sex’ and work with full confidence. No empowerment can come externally, it has to come from within” he advised.
Speaking on this theme, Commissioner Yadav said that the notion of equality cuts both ways. When some women police complained that when in Reception duty at Police HQ they are made to serve tea and wash cups of civilian visitors, leading to their role being looked down upon generally, the Commissioner advised that they should seek equality of work in every way. “Most women in the force do not want hard duties like going for making arrests, issuing summons, doing interrogations, investigation work or court escort of prisoners. They even avoid night shifts. They want ‘soft jobs’ like office work, making computer entries etc.Thus menial jobs are also expected of them. Let them take the initiative in breaking the gender bias and demanding to do hard duties also with confidence. Then let me see who will ask them to wash cups!”
Earlier, voicing their grievances, women police, mostly constables, had overcome their inhibitions to voice their problems.
“Senior lady officers have orderlies and other staff to look after their households. What about us, class 4 employees who have to look after home and children ourselves and also do our police duty? We, young nursing mothers, ask for an hour’s leave to feed our babies we are denied that also. Instead, our male superiors mock at us by saying ‘let the father feed the baby’!” As she was narrating this problem the woman broke into tears rendering the audience teary eyed too – obviously, all the other women understood her problem and were sympathetic.
Responding to this, PC Yadav announced that every police station in Maharashtra would soon have ‘creche’ facility for young kids.So their mothers would not have to go home to nurse their infant babies.
Dipali also admitted that the Commissioner was very sympathetic to women’s genuine problems. She narrated how the ‘monthly period’ time duties were burdensome for women and she had tried to solve the problem by requesting for dispensing and vending machines for sanitary napkins at police stations and Mr. Yadav had accepted this suggestion at once. This facility was now present at most police stations.
A trailer of the movie Jai Gangajal was screened for the audience that showed Priyanka acting a bold and gutsy police officer fearlessly taking up her corrupt colleagues and criminals, both. The audience appreciated the clipping prompting one woman constable requesting for free screening of the movie for female police. Jha accepted it at once and promised one free show for them!
Kite flying at the Achievers School
After concluding his visit with the police, Jha and Manav Kaul also drove to the Achievers School run by the Kratin Company on the outskirts of the city, beyond Manish Nagar.
The school, which aims to make every child an Achiever by teaching them how to think, rather than what to think, had arranged a Kite flying competition and a fete at the school grounds on the occasion of the festival of Sankrant.
They had organized a kite flying competition not just for their students but also the neighborhood people which was a big success.
The winners were handed over prices at the hands of Prakash Jha.