Bengaluru police pursue dropouts, put them back in school

Maintaining law and order is the mainstay of a policeman’s job, but there’s also scope for compassion. Staff at Rajagopalnagar Police Station are trying to bring the city’s forgotten children — victims of abuse or broken homes — back into the formal education system.

In most cases, the parents are either in prison or battling substance abuse. Many are neglected by their families or guardians and drop out of school only to end up in the wrong hands.

Inspector Mahananda says, “We see a lot of dropouts in this area. They come from broken families or face violence at home. We are making a list of such students and have approached a few NGOs to sponsor their education for this year.”

Some cases

He recalled meeting a woman who was being beaten by her alcoholic husband daily, and was worried about her child’s welfare.

In another case, a woman abandoned her daughter and ran away with another man. Her husband was in jail and the grandparents were not in a position to admit the girl in school. Police intervened and arranged for her fees so that she could continue her schooling.

The process is slow, but the Rajagopalnagar police are tackling it one child at a time one a case-by-case basis. "We are in the process of compiling a list and so far have identified around 10 to 12 children," said Mr. Mahananda.

A helping hand

The men in khaki are getting help in this initiative from the community police called Area Suraksha Mitras and the non-profit Janaagraha Centre for Citizenship and Democracy.

Volunteers identify dropouts and, along with the police and professional counsellors, work with their guardians to re-enroll the children in school.

“We plan to identify 30 to 40 such children and support their education,” said Valli Narsimha, manager (community policing) at Janaagraha. “The difficult part will be ensuring that these children continue in school year after year, and don’t fall prey to wrong influences.”

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Printable version | May 18, 2022 1:17:41 pm |