Kannur policemen unwind by cultivating paddy

They take time off from policing to restore fallow land

Updated - November 22, 2017 08:27 am IST

Published - November 21, 2017 09:40 pm IST - Kannur

 A different beat: Some of the personnel work on their patch in the paddies.

A different beat: Some of the personnel work on their patch in the paddies.

Policemen at the Chakkarakal police station, 15 km from the Kannur district headquarters, have joined hands with local residents who have started a project to restore farmland lying fallow for several years. The policemen are farming a 2.5-acre paddy field, and in the process, giving themselves some time off from stressful law and order duties.

Farmers of the Mundery panchayat, 6 km from Chakkarakal, have formed an agricultural development committee named ‘Oruma,’ whose aim is to revive paddy cultivation and other agricultural activities on 77 acres of land that have not seen rice seedlings for years. An initiative under Haritha Keralam Mission, the project envisions allocating plots of fallow land to groups ready to cultivate it.

This mission found acceptance among different sections of the community, including the police. The personnel began working on the fields on Monday, planting rice seedlings in the field, alongside farmworkers.

“We are joining a collective project of the local community to revive a culture of cultivation,” said P. Biju, Chakkarakkal Sub-Inspector. The policemen will join the farmhands in planting seedlings, removal of weeds, and other related activities during their weekly holidays, he said, adding that they would find it relaxing.

Their own money

The police will bear the cost of cultivating the 2.5-acre field they have been allocated. They can also sell the rice.

The police station has introduced measures to give a facelift to its premises and offer a stress-free ambience to both the policemen and visitors. The policemen’s involvement in the paddy initiative is part of a programme to wean youth away from divisive activities. Kannur has been witnessing violent clashes between political groups.

“We have started ‘Oruma’ not just to restore cultivation but also, as the name suggests, to build unity among the people,” said E. Narayanan, group convener.

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