WhatsApp enables cops to come close to public

WhatsApp enables cops to come close to public
Ambalavayal sub-inspector Abbas Ali M was in the news this summer for launching a virtual green revolution on the police station premises.
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Ever since the Kerala police launched its people-friendly Janamaithri Suraksha a decade ago, there has been an improvement in the general attitude towards the force in khaki. Beyond the unmistakable mellowness in its conduct while probing cases or interacting with the public, its personnel has of late been doing social service as well. That brought the police still closer to the common man. A micro-level story of this is played out at a scenic locality in hilly Wayanad district. At Ambalavayal, the policemen and women are of major support to the residents in times of real need.

WhatsApp group to discuss

The Ambalavayal police launched a WhatsApp group in 2015 involving people within its area of jurisdiction.

The members can post anything related to developments within the station limits. The police will intervene if there is a need. Inversely, the cops will themselves post messages that the people under its jurisdiction must know. There may also be directives, which would come in handy for the people — like it happened recently when the region saw a sudden spurt in thefts.

WhatsApp enables cops to come close to public
The policemen and women are of major support to the residents of Ambalavayal in times of real need.

No politics, though. Any political comment made or message forwarded, the member is out. The WhatsApp group admin is Abbas Ali M, a sub-inspector who was in the news this summer for launching a virtual green revolution on the police station premises.

Good Samaritans

There is also a streak of charity. In fact, one of the initial endeavours of the WhatsApp group was to sponsor a poor tribal student in his under-graduation studies that spanned three years. All these under SI Ali and Janamaithri CRO K Raju.

Also, help reaches people in the locality in need of medicine, wheelchair for the physically-challenged, umbrellas for school students, clean-up of Adivasi colonies, spread of anti-drug awareness and betterment of road traffic services.

Also, this February, the policemen started an organic farming collective, which ended with great success amid a bountiful yield several kinds of vegetables.

During the deluge

Incessant rain did not pose much of a threat to rugged Ambalavayal, but the WhatsApp group was flooded with offers of help. It took just one appeal from SI Ali to see an overwhelming response in the social media get-together. Traders and others pitched in, following which Onam kits were distributed to the benefit of no less than 600 people.

Plus, clothes were given away to residents of 20 tribal colonies. That activity is continuing even after the festival of harvest. The Janamaithri police staff also visited a few relief camps in the locality. The police station ran free ambulance service, too, amid the heavy rain.

Read more: Latest Wayanad news

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