Tension mounts up when they have to play the dual roles of professionals and family heads, says R. Rajaram

Performing duties in challenging situations for most part of the day make the lives of policemen stressful.

Pressures from superiors, high expectations from the public to control crime rates and maintenance of law and order on a day-to-day basis often keep the men in `khakhi' on their toes.

Tension mounts up when they have to play the dual roles of professionals and family heads with little time to spend with their families. Mostly, they are preoccupied with professional commitments. This lifestyle could have a telling impact on their efficiency.

A joint initiative by the city police authorities in association with the Urumu Dhanalakshmi College to organise a stress management and personality development programme for the law-enforcers here recently was a conscious effort aimed at helping their men and officers overcome stress, realise their inherent strengths and potential and the ways to face the challenges and cross the hurdles through proper planning and systematic execution.

The authorities are now contemplating conduct of stress management programmes on a monthly basis without affecting their regular work schedule.

The help of counsellors and experts in this field would be roped in to teach the cops on the techniques to manage stress and avoid negative thinking.

The objective is to make them realise their inherent strengths and potential and enable them to think positively, say authorities. The emphasis would also be on courteous attitude towards the aggrieved public who approach the police stations with the hope of getting their problems redressed and on having an optimistic outlook.

During the recent programme, the policemen were advised to relax their minds by going out with their family once a year and cultivate the habit of reading books of their choice or joke books to energise them.

"Our aim is to conduct the programmes on a monthly basis and make the policemen realise that stress can be reduced," says the Commissioner of Police, Shankar Jiwal.

A batch of 40 policemen across the ranks would be handpicked for the monthly programme and exposed to the techniques to be adopted in their homes.

Plans are also afoot to organise yoga classes for the policemen during the weekly parade days to de-stress them mentally and physically in order to enhance their efficiency, Mr. Jiwal said.

The programme is a reflection of the genuine concern of the authorities in the welfare of the field-level personnel, he added.