They are managing the crowds at the State school art festival venues
Kozhikode: One of the striking features in the conduct of the golden jubilee edition of the Kerala School Kalolsavam in Kozhikode is the organisers’ efforts to make it a completely student-centred affair. The introduction of a trained students’ force called Student Police Cadet (SPC) to help the police and other agencies is one such initiative.
The cadets, selected from various schools in the city and trained by different departments of the police before they were assigned duties, have earned praise from several quarters. Kozhikode City Commissioner of Police S. Sreejith, who mooted the idea of SPC to help conduct the Kalolsavam, is pleased about the services of the SPC cadets. “Literally, they are managing the crowds and the general conduct of the event,” said Mr. Sreejith. The commissioner said the cadets were also helping the police in manning traffic at various key points in the city.
Mr. Sreejith, who himself was a participant in the State school Kalotsavam in 1982 winning an ‘A’ grade in ‘Mridangam,’ is content that his experiment “has come out well.” These cadets were given an eight-day training in fire and safety, first aid and bomb disposal.
They comprise 853 students, out of which 168 are girls. The cadets, who have been deployed for various services at all the 16 venues of the Kalotsavam, have been also given uniforms.
“They are doing a commendable job here,” said Head constable T.M. Sivadas, who takes care of the cadets’ transportation to home and back to the venues by police vehicle every day. The SPC is working in two shifts — one from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and the other from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. “They are also guided by a leader in different groups at different venues,” said K.M. Gopinath, a teacher. He said the services of the SPC had made a “striking difference to the overall conduct of the event.”
The experience has also “enriched” and “boosted” the confidence of students to take up challenging responsibilities.
“It has given a us great lessons in interacting with people and managing crowds,” said K.D. Dibin, an SPC cadet from Zamorin’s HSS in the city.
The fact that people “obey” them has given them a great deal of confidence in taking up further challenges.
“I have more respect for the job of a police now,” said a girl cadet, P. Shari, who is a Plus One student in a city school. For Shradh Mehta, another SPC cadet from the same school, the experience was a great inspiration in fighting for the safety of women in huge public gatherings. “I reported two cases of harassment of girls with mobile cameras at the festival venue,” says Shradha.
“We hope this daring initiative on the part of the Police commissioner and the organising committee will be one of the major plus points of this Kalotsavam,” Ajitha Paymbra, a lady constable deployed at the Kalotsavam venue said.