It is a ‘reserve pool’ of skilled manpower
There is a growing unrest among families of fishermen, who have lost their livelihood as a result of industrial development along the coast, as also other communities displaced by industries. Loss of livelihood has been creating law and order problems and the industries were shying away from giving jobs to displaced youths as they do not have the required skills.
Commissioner of Police (CP) J. Purnachandhra Rao hit two birds with one stone when he came out with a novel idea to provide alternative livelihood to the displaced youths while developing a ‘reserve pool’ of skilled manpower to cater to the needs of the industry.
The Community Guards Voluntary Organisation (CGVO) was floated and registered on May Day this year.
“The candidates are chosen based on a tough selection process on the lines of Home Guards selections. On the successful completion of the second round, there will be a medical examination followed by a 30-day training programme,” says Reserve Inspector (Home Guards) B. Ramakrishna Rao.
In all, 25 youths were trained in the first batch which concluded on October 16. The city police, which imparted the training, also gave two pairs of uniforms to each of the trainees. Food and accommodation were provided to them under ‘Rajiv Yuva Kiranalu’ programme of the State Government.
The Community Guards came in handy when the Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) wanted trained swimmers urgently to check drowning deaths following the drowning of six engineering students at Rushikonda Beach recently.
“GVMC have availed of the services of 18 and VUDA has sought the services of 21 Community Guards,” says Mr. Ramakrishna Rao.
“Initiatives like these will go a long way in fostering mutual cooperation and trust between the public and the police,” felt Prof. A. Prasanna Kumar and Kasim S. Mehdi, advisors to the CGVO, at a recent meeting.
“The companies which require the services of Community Guards have been enlisted. These companies have to pay a membership fee and bear the training costs. The recruiting companies can rest assured as the antecedents of the trainees would be checked by the police before selection.
The community guard would be entitled to a honorarium of Rs.250 a day or Rs.7,500 a month on par with Home Guards,” says Mr. Purnachandra Rao.
The ‘voluntary force’ can become a force to reckon with in future.
A society has been formed and registered to ensure its institutionalisation but its actual continuation will depend on interest taken by the subsequent police commissioners.