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Marking the welfare pages of 'Retired Police personnel'
5/26/2019 11:06:36 PM
Mahadeep Singh Jamwal

"We assure that you were and you will remain part and parcel of the police department and never feel shy to come to us for any problem that may encounter you in your retired life. The whole department will be at your back and call that will take care of you and your family". These are the encouraging words that always trickle from the presiding officer at the time of retirement of a 'police personnel' in addition to few chaplets, a sumptuous meal, a cheque from PHQ as retirement gift and last police vehicle drive to drop him at his residence. In practice, these words of encouragement subside and retired 'police personnel' generally escape to oblivion. When a career marked by "life on the beat" winds to a close, mere celebration isn't enough. Police retirement is something special, as a mixed blend of bravery, compassion, ingenuity and dedication is going to part from an active role in the police department. After retirement, the police officers might develop a sense of rejection and feeling that they could no longer command respect but they could lead a more meaningful life, if remembered by the department for their contributions.
The Police Headquarters had issued instructions to every District Police Heads to keep track of the retired police officers and reportedly Dy SP DAR is the nodal officers in this respect. Honestly speaking during my retire life of eight years; I had the occasion and invitation of attending such meetings twice in number recently on 22 May 2019. Surprisingly many District Chiefs are conducting such meetings with retirees of police department in Jammu region for the last two weeks, what has made it so is a matter of great surprise for the retired police fraternity. Moreover these meetings are particularly about enquiring the health conditions of the retirees is more surprising. It might be the strict directions from Mr. Dilbag Singh, presently leader of the Police force in J&K, and Zonal head Jammu MK Sinha. Both are well known for welfare measures in the department of which I have the mandate to speak so, as having served as Commanding officer of Armed Battalions under Mr Dilbag Singh and with Mr Sinha in Vigilance Organization and as a member of recruitment board for erstwhile Doda District in 2009, under his chairmanship. The remarkable personalities then in police department like Peer Ghulam Hassan Shah, Mr Kuldeep Khoda and Mr Ashok Bhan retired DGPs are icons of police personal's welfare and I carry the memories owing to the reason of serving under these dynamic police personalities not just once but number of times. We can easily say that welfare follow up especially for retirees in the Police Department is around the individual officer and not a system that works.
What welfare measures exist in police department in J&K requires elaboration. With respect to welfare measures of serving, retired and martyrs, there is Police Parivar Fund, Contributory welfare Fund, Central Police Welfare Fund, Retired Policemen Welfare Fund, Central Police Education Fund contributed by all ranks, and SPO's Contributory Welfare Fund. Another activity that fetches handsome amount is the Police Public Mela held twice annually in Jammu and Srinagar. This is an activity undertaken by J&K Police Wives Welfare Association (PWWA) with allied activities such as: Police Parivar Fuel Care Pumps, Police Public Schools. Welfare Centers that are running Computerized Training Section, Ari centre and 'Matty' section. We have a large network of Police Public Schools running in Miran sahib Jammu, Bemina Bypass Srinagar, at Districts Rajouri, Doda, Anantnag, Baramula, Kupwara and Kargil.
When we walk on the pages of so many welfare funds in the Police department, the retired fraternity of police department is benefitted only from the 'Retired policemen welfare fund' and it goes against the practicality of the words that sounds much in meetings of this communion that serving as well as retired all are members of "POLICE PARIVAR". 'Retired policemen welfare fund' is contribution of every serving police person and is a peanut in the shape of Rs 10 from lower ranks and Rs 20 from upper ranks. The District head and the commandants are authorized up to certain amount that can be sanctioned in favor of the deserving retiree and for beyond their limit they have to seek the orders from higher officers. The fund is supposed to be utilized for helping the retired police men in distress, helping in resettlement of retired police men, promoting welfare measures for helping for disabled retired policemen, reimbursing expenditure on treatment of retired policemen and their spouse outside the state, relief to retired policemen in unforeseen adverse circumstances. The fund is also utilized for granting scholarship to the tune of Rs 3000 per annum, for first three wards of retired policemen, who may secure highest merit not less than 75% in any case in matriculation, 10+2/graduation level examination. This facility to the retired fraternity is mere a show case as a police official retires at the age of 60 years and it is rarity that his wards would have been in studying age. Medical facility up to certain level is available in Police Hospitals Jammu and Kashmir but the meager facility available at the district headquarters is beyond the reach of retirees. Beyond that we do not come across any other longings of the police department towards retirees of this department. It is a matter of concern?
Keeping in mind that welfare measures meant for serving police personnel cannot be asked for at parity for retired police personnel but still many of them cannot be denied to this retired fraternity, in view of the state policy of welfare of retired police personnel and Police Headquarters always speaks of them. Some considerations are required at appropriate level to keep track of retirees from police department on regular basis. Some measures required to be taken such as:
n Let there be a Police cell for retirees in every District and get it managed by experienced retired officials of police department by engaging them on consolidated remuneration
n The welfare measures envisaged from the "Retired policemen welfare fund" in practical cannot be meted out from this fund; hence the options of extending benefits from other welfare funds required to be explored.
n The scope of activities by the "J&K Police Wives Welfare Association (PWWA)" is required to be extended in every district than keeping its activities confined to a limited sphere. Let some money earned during 'Police Public Mela" under "PWWA" activity be kept with every District Police Chief for welfare of families of retirees of this department.
n The scope of Police Public Schools is required to be explored in the districts left behind that can help in resettlement of retired police men, a measure enshrined under 'welfare facilities for retired police personnel'.
Concluding retirement is a blank sheet of paper. It is a chance to redesign your life into something new and different. Retirement is a new beginning, and that means closing the book on one chapter in order to begin the next. Please remember that retirement is a different way of life, with new challenges and opportunities. We need to adapt and adjust to this new lifestyle, and that takes time, effort, and creativity. There is an exciting world of possibilities out there that very few of us get the chance to explore during our working lives, but retirement is that time.
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