OTHERS

Making policemen humane, sensitive

SHIMOGA Feb. 14. A programme for personality development of police personnel through counselling held here from February 6 to 9 is said to be the first of its kind in the State. The programme, a part of the ongoing orientation programme for police personnel, was designed and conducted by Ankura, which offers counselling in education, in association with the Samarasa Family Counselling Centre and the Malnad Junior Chamber.

Psychiatrists and psychologists, led by Ramachandra Gunari, who is a journalist also, offered counselling to a head constable and a constable each from 25 police stations in the district.

Harish, psychiatrist from Bhadravati, and Mr. Gunari and the other psychologists, Ganapathi and Sandhya Kaveri, delivered lectures on time management, communication, art of listening, mind and stress management, mental health, counselling techniques, and principles involved in being effective and specific in policing.

The methodology adopted for the programme, according to Mr. Gunari, involved games, group discussion, and lectures. The performance of the participants was assessed through psychological tests and examinations.

Jagadeeshwar, head constable, Shimoga Traffic Police Station, said the programme instilled confidence in him in managing mental stress and physical fatigue, while S.B.Shivamurthy of Kumsi Police Station said he got help in responding to stress and emotions.

Basavaraj, constable in Shikaripur Police Station, admitted that the counselling helped him improve his conduct with the public. "I learnt how to receive complaints from people and attend to them,'' he said.

Pathrone Tellis, head constable in Kargal Police Station in Sagar taluk, said the counselling taught him to adopt good things in life and in duty.

He would pass the knowledge gained from it to his family. M.U.Geethanjali, constable, said she was not quite sure if the contents of the counselling would be useful. "But I am amazed at the positive changes I have noticed in me after attending it. It has taught me to face life with courage and confidence,'' she added.

The orientation programme included gender sensitisation by Ms. Kaveri, a family counsellor, and Prema, advocate. The Superintendent of Police, N.Shivakumar, and the Additional Superintendent of Police, Ishwarchandra Vidya Sagar, were keen on incorporating counselling in the personality development programme.

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