For S. Gunaseelan (13) and S. Akash (14), the word ‘police’ signified dread. That changed on Saturday.

The boys were part of a bunch of 150 school students that paid a visit to the local police station as part of Joy of Giving week celebrations. Organised by volunteers to encourage children to consider the police as their friends, the initiative saw youngsters thronging Chintadripet police station around 10.30 a.m.

The police officers took them on a tour of the premises and explained the day-to-day functioning of the force. Apart from demonstrating the use of walkie-talkies and weapons, the officers also attempted to create awareness on laws that protect children. They also answered various queries of the children.

Speaking to The Hindu after an hour-long session with the children, P. Subramani, inspector, Chintadripet, said his guests were thrilled. “They were curious about the weapons at the station. We explained the working of the rifle, revolver and pistol, and the bullets used in them. After a point, we could not handle all their questions,” the officer said with a chuckle.

According to Akash and his friends, the police station visit was an experience they would love to revisit. Station visits were simultaneously organised by different NGOs at Mylapore, Adyar, Ambattur and Flower Bazaar where the participation and enthusiasm of school children was overwhelming.

The sessions were also attended by senior police officers who distributed sweets and gifts to the children, police sources said.

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