One more feather

Though its image may have taken a beating in recent times, the Kerala police have been adding one feather after another to its cap. Take the recent addition of a sizeable number of women constables to the force, for instance.

The addition of 490 women constables to the force may well dispel notions about the force being insensitive to the problems faced by women and children. Dressed up in the new uniform prescribed a few months ago, their professionalism was evident during the State Government employees' stir, when they were entrusted with arresting and removing women protesters. Television channels have been beaming scenes of policewomen meeting head on with the agitators and stopping them in their tracks.

The 490 constables from the latest batch which passed out a-month-and-a-half ago, have been attached to police stations across the State. At the local stations, they will be assigned duties as stated in the manual, for the first six months.

In the first month, the recruits will be posted on sentry duty, for regulating traffic and on evening patrol. The second month will see them in action, among other things, at night patrol. In the third month, they will have to adorn the garb of writers, at the stations.... and so on, the same jobs that their male counterparts do.

Senior police officers say that the constables are very smart and well educated -- an asset to the force.

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