Mumbai: To reduce the pressure on the police force and limit their duty time to eight hours, the State Government will recruit 60,000 policemen. State Home Minister R R Patil announced this at the inauguration of 'Tandurust Bandobast', a health initiative for police personnel launched by Sakal Media Group in Mumbai on Saturday.
The recruitment will enable the policemen to get a weekly off, take enough rest and help them remain fit, said Patil.
The initiative was launched in the presence of Abhijit Pawar, Managing Director of Sakal Media Group, Dr Satyapal Singh, Mumbai's Police Commissioner and Ashok Pawar, President of Lalbaugcha Raja Sarvajanik Ganesh Mandal. Chikki was distributed to the policemen present on the occasion as a token of nutritious diet to mark the launch of the initiative.
Speaking on the occasion, Patil acknowledged that the nutrition allowance of Rs 18 given to the police is insufficient, thus forcing the police to eat whatever is available on the spot while striving for the protection of citizens. This has resulted in various health issues for the policemen.
The State will recruit 12,000 additional policemen while 7,000 have been recruited this year, said Patil. He congratulated Sakal Media Group for its initiative and wished a happy and safe Ganeshotsav to all.
Singh said that the police are always targeted by the media. Rarely does their good work reflect in the media. But the initiative by Sakal Media Group is laudable, he said.
"If the policemen don't exercise, they are bound to face health issues. They need to have a nutritious diet and keep their cool while on duty," Singh urged.
Abhijit Pawar elaborated on the objective of the campaign. He said the Sakal Media Group will work on various issues faced by the policemen. Chikki was distributed to the policemen as the token of nutritional diet, while urging them to take care of their diet, he said.
"Social issues cannot be solved by blaming or targeting somebody. We will have to act to address these issues. With this in mind, the Sakal Media Group took up the initiative of Pune Bus Day to abate the traffic problem and started Tanishka Women's Dignity Forum to bring women in the mainstream of society. The forum is a platform to connect women who are the centre point of the family and society too. These initiatives to find a solution to the issues of various sections of society would serve as a guide for society and the country," he opined.
In the introductory remarks, Executive Editor of Sakal Mumbai edition Padmabhushan Deshpande said the initiative aimed to better the eating habits of police. Ashok Pawar said the initiative should reach to more and more people. ..and the home minister apologised
During his speech, R R Patil narrated an incident. A photograph of two policemen having a nap during a programme was published in a newspaper. Patil immediately issued instructions to their seniors to sack the policemen. The seniors then met Patil and explained that the two policemen had not had their off and were working continuously. They had fallen asleep due to fatigue and lack of rest. Then, Patil immediately called up the two policemen and apologised to them for taking action without checking the facts.