November 21, 2009

Good idea Mr. Commissioner

Did City Police Commissioner T. Rajendran do the proper thing by letting school students handle guns and fiddle with pistols?

Some eyebrows may have gone up.

But I think this idea of inviting senior school students to their neighbourhood police stations this past week was a nice one.

The teenagers seem to have enjoyed the visit, learnt a lot and seem to have come out better-informed.

After all, Rajendran and his top brass' idea was not only to get a few city students to know their police stations better and get closer to his officers and men but also tell them about the rights children enjoy and the role they can play in a community/neighbourhood.

Even as November draws to a close, a month during which we at our newspapers encourage senior students to go out, get curious, dig a bit, gather information, report and write on local people and events, I recall the stories that some children shared with us after their trips to local police and fire stations, EB and Chennai Corporation offices.

In fact, one of them who managed to convince a officer to take him on a night patrol trip in the neighbourhood gently reminded me of his reportage experience as the local TV news channels unfolded their coverage of Rajendran's project this past week.

I think Rajendran and his officers should now get college students to the stations. We need more enlightened youths to be with us in the neighbourhood. It will pay.

I also think it is time that Mayor Subramanian and Commissioner Rajesh Lakhoni followed the Top Cop's example.

If the young must know about their rights and the laws of the land, they should also know about what the City Fathers do for their neighbourhoods.

These projects should not be one time events. They should be kept rolling and repeated.

The fact that over 100 students now know what an FIR is, now have the phone numbers of local police stations and can even call the officers at any time, makes a huge difference.

It matters. Don't you think so?

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