In a few days, police personnel in Kozhikode would speak a different language — that of sign language.
The differently abled people, especially those who are deaf or orally challenged, have often found it difficult to communicate with the police, whenever they have to seek help from the law enforcers, and vice versa. The Kozhikode city police has come up with a solution to this problem, by training a few personnel in sign language. The first of its kind programme in the State, that began on Tuesday, includes a two-day workshop and a 14-day certificate course for around 100 police personnel in sign language.
“We have made most police stations differently-abled friendly. However, the facilities (introduced) are mostly infrastructure related, such as chairs. This (training) programme will add more meaning to it”, said Assistant Commissioner of Police (Special Branch, Kozhikode City) K. L. Umesh who is coordinating the programme, which was inaugurated by City Police Commissioner A. Akbar on Tuesday.
Valid in court
As the statements of people who cannot speak are considered as valid evidence in court, the police officials are bound to record their statements as well. The police often rely on the services of experts in this field for the purpose. With this programme, at least four personnel in every police station in the city will be equipped to communicate with the orally challenged people and record their statements.
“This is the first time such an effort is made in any district in the state. This will strengthen the relationships between the police and the public, and contribute to the friendly image of the force”, the commissioner said.
Setting a standard
The programme is being implemented with the support of Composite Regional Centre (CRC) for persons with disabilities in Chevayur. “This programme will help the differently abled people to communicate effectively with the police. I expect this wave to spread across the state as a pilot project and then all over the nation'', said Director of CRC Roshan Bijlee. The training is being carried out by the faculty and students of Ability Art and Science College.
Mr. Umesh further recalled the various programmes that started in Kozhikode and spread across the State such as ‘Our Responsibility to Children’ (ORC) project, School Protection Group (SPG), and vigilance committees, and hoped that this programme too will play a role in making all police stations in the State differently-abled friendly.