Many of the buildings here are built by CRPF personnel themselves

The first image that comes to mind when one thinks of the Central Reserve Police Force is of armed men on the frontlines of danger and disaster. However, the Central Reserve Police Force Group Centre (CRPF-GC) in Yelahanka offers a glimpse of the other side of the lives of the men in uniform.

A short drive along the Doddabalapur Road and you touch base at the CRPF-GC, which has an enviably pristine and quiet environment with countless plants and trees. The quiet is broken only by the chirping of birds.

Huge campus

The CRPF-GC, which has been in Yelahanka since 1994, is spread over 253 acres of land. The centre is headed by K. Arkesh, Deputy Inspector-General of CRPF.

Walking around the no-plastic campus, he enthusiastically explains the role of the CRPF in maintaining the country's internal security. “The CRPF comes in whenever there is a problem that transcends the boundaries of a State and threatens the integrity of the nation. It has no territorial jurisdiction and is active all over the country.” He further adds that the CRPF assists during natural disasters and is often the first relief force on the scene.

A microcosm

The centre in Yelahanka, DIG Arkesh says, takes care of administrative aspects, training and housing of CRPF personnel and their families. Around 1,200 families reside in the group centre which functions as a microcosm of India. Different places of worship are located close to each other in total harmony. People from different parts of the country live together in apartments.

All the provisions required for daily sustenance, from vegetables and fruits to poultry and grains, are available within the campus. DIG Arkesh, proudly says: “Many of the structures here are built by CRPF personnel themselves. We believe in the concept of self-service.” Cycle stands to computer labs, a community centre to an open air theatre, are the products of this principle.

Call of duty

Constable A. Subramanyam, who has been with the CRPF for the last 20 years, is seen eagerly building a new facility at the centre. He explains the hardships faced by CRPF personnel. “We are always at the call of duty. It is part of the job and over time we grow used to it. Staying away from the family is hard, but we have a greater duty towards the nation.”

Keywords: CRPF