Karnataka: Residents living near the CK Achukattu police station have observed police personnel gathering outside the station every evening in recent weeks. Instead of the usual end-of-day roll call, staff were seen stretching, burpee-ing and crunching under the supervision of trained personnel.
This is part of an initiative introduced by inspector R Janardhan last month during the lockdown. The trainers were professional sportspersons from the Sports Authority of India. ‘It’s a quick exercise every half-hour under the supervision of a team of gymnasts from Sports Authority of India’. ‘We have to ensure that our employees are fit’, Mr. Janardhan said. The regimen evolved organically. The staff gathered at the station for a dinner meeting and picked up assignments for the next day during the lockdown.
Mr. Janardhan, with a background in sports, noticed that many of the personnel appeared fatigued and lacked motivation. A team-building exercise would raise morale, so he decided to implement it. The answer was to engage in some form of physical activity. The exercise regimen was initially voluntary, but soon everyone joined in and started friendly competitions against each other with the aim of improving their performance on the ground.
A team of professional athletes volunteered to teach them as word spread, he said. Leading gymnasts Uday Naidu and Ujwal were among those who gave their time to help train police officers. ‘One month after we began training, many police personnel have changed physically. The morale of the team also improved,’ said the inspector. ‘Our routine has been enhanced from simple running to facing armed and unarmed opponents during arrest and self-defense’.
The performance of police officers on the ground began to improve. ‘When I was training to become a police officer, exercises like this were common. Due to unscheduled work hours, it becomes difficult to maintain a lengthy workout regimen after taking up posts. But the quick training sessions at the station every day were really helpful,’ a police officer stated. DCP Harish Pandey commended the initiative. ‘Our job requires both physical and mental endurance. Keeping personnel fit and alert without injuring themselves is an important aspect of their training,’ he said.