Visakhapatnam

Retired cop scaling new heights

Towering feat: A file picture of K. Raja Sikhamani atop the Mount Elbrus in Russia in July this year.

Towering feat: A file picture of K. Raja Sikhamani atop the Mount Elbrus in Russia in July this year.  

Pot-bellied cops are ubiquitous, especially the middle-aged ones. In spite of yoga and other special fitness training programmes, many of them struggle a lot to keep fit. Hectic work schedules coupled with tension, irregular food timings, and others are the culprits, giving fitness a pass.

However, Kakumanu Raja Sikhamani, retired principal of Vizianagaram Police Training College (PTC), is a victor on the battle of the bulge, thanks to his constant efforts to keep him fit.

During his PTC tenure between 2016-18, he had inspired many with his different training programmes for all ranks, officers, including DSPs, Circle Inspectors, Sub-Inspectors and others. Mr. Sikhamani used to encourage them for long distance walking, running, trekking and etc.

Age just a number

Even after retirement, Mr. Sikhamani continues to inspire many with his adventures, including trekking the most difficult mountains in the world.

While most of his counterparts are tending to their grandchildren, at 61, Mr. Sikhamani has successfully scaled the 5,642 metre Mount Elbrus in Russia, the highest peak in Europe, this July, despite inclement weather. It was covered with snow and temperature was mostly -25 degrees Celsius. After his successful adventure, now he is planning to climb the 6,962-metre Aconcagua Mountain located in Mendoza Province of Argentina.

Mr. Sikhamani, who hails from Prakasam district, started his career as an SI in 1981 and worked mostly in the Andhra Pradesh Police Academy, Hyderabad. He got special training with the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and developed an interest in trekking at a young age. “Mountaineering improves physical and mental balance,” he said.

“Athletics and games like football and volleyball are also important to get the required physical fitness for cops. In spite of the busy schedule, I request all officials to concentrate on fitness which is required to handle the professional pressure,” Mr. Sikhamani added.

Feathers in the cap

It was an early start. In fact, he was champion in State Athletic Competition for five years winning first prizes in 800 metre, 1,500 metre, and 300 metre steeple chase categories.

He covered 1,500 metres in four minutes in 1983 and the record is said to be unbroken in the last three decades. What more, Mr. Sikhamani was adjudged the best performer in the NSG Commando training in 1986. And, he had played a key role in the release of seven IAS officers abducted by extremists in 1987 in the East Godavari agency area.

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Printable version | Aug 11, 2020 11:37:35 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Visakhapatnam/retired-cop-scaling-new-heights/article29847271.ece

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