Tamil Nadu

Stress management for police in south T.N.

Holistic approach: Theni SP E. Sai Saran Tejaswi taking part in the programme

Holistic approach: Theni SP E. Sai Saran Tejaswi taking part in the programme  

Thousands of police personnel from southern Tamil Nadu took part in a yoga/meditation programme launched on Wednesday to bring about healthy changes in the force, which has been going through stress amid the increasing number of COVID-19 cases and deaths.

While keeping a reserve of about 25% of the 1.25-lakh force as healthy standby strength, the Tamil Nadu police has deployed a majority of its uniformed personnel on COVID-19-related duties in containment zones, at border check-posts, major hospitals and others. At least 1,000 police personnel who were part of such frontline work have tested positive for COVID-19 and a few of them, including an inspector, have died.

“The recent incident in Thoothukudi district, where a trader and his son died due to alleged police excesses at the Sattankulam police station, was another instance that added to the mental stress of the police, since it created a negative impression about the force in the minds of the people. This weekend, the yoga/meditation programme in the southern districts is expected to help manage stress and anger. The police come across a variety of people during the discharge of duties, every day, and not all are law-abiding citizens,” a senior police officer said.

‘A few bad apples’

The officer said that the Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court, which conducted a suo-motu hearing in the Sattankulam incident, had observed: “A few bad apples here and there should not be a reason to condemn the entire force of around 1.25 lakh police personnel, who are already at the forefront, battling the COVID-19 pandemic.” Hence, steps are being taken to ensure that police personnel, at all levels, get an opportunity to spend at least one day with their families.

Experts are being roped in to share their thoughts on good practices such as a healthy lifestyle and food habits. The programme will be in addition to the ongoing police well-being project, being conducted by the M.S. Chellamuthu Trust & Research Foundation, Madurai, and the National Institute of Mental Health & Neuro Sciences, Bengaluru.

“Police personnel have been advised to continue doing yoga/meditation exercises at home, every day, at a time convenient to them. During weekends, we will have reviews and upgrade the exercises to the next level. Superintendents of Police in the districts are sourcing expertise locally to conduct the programme,” the officer said.

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Printable version | Aug 12, 2020 4:30:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/stress-management-for-police-in-south-tn/article32025962.ece

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