Police personnel who lose their lives while in service are forgotten soon and so are their families. This stands true in the case of the family of Constable R. Selvaraj who was stabbed to death on the night of November 29, 1997 at Ukkadam here.

The constable's murder sparked off a round of communal violence in Coimbatore and culminated in a series of blasts on February 14, 1998, claiming 58 lives and injuring over 200.

When the personnel lose their lives in harness, the society remembers them only for a few days. Their families are conveniently forgotten. Police department and government extend all assistance immediately after the incident but there needs to be a follow-up mechanism for ensuring a decent living for the family.

Talking to The Hindu, P. Sivanandi, Inspector-General of Police, West Zone, said that after marathon efforts, Selvaraj's wife Jayanthi and daughter Lavanya were found living in Vadipatti in an impoverished state.

Though the girl was studying in a school, uncertainty was looming large on her higher education prospects.

He said that Jeevalaya Charitable Trust had taken over the responsibility of educating the girl even in the faculty of medicine, which happens to be her choice at present. The girl had secured admission in a Madurai school for ninth standard.

Similarly, Mr. Sivanandi said that efforts were on to trace the families of 20 police personnel who lost their lives in the assassination of former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi at Sriperumbudur on May 21, 1991. The objective was to locate the families and take care of the needs of the bereaved family members.

Mr. Sivanandi said that only through such welfare measures, the morale of the force could be sustained.

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