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Officers & Gentlemen

Learn Crisis Leadership from the Forces

It was very important to ensure a balanced approach free of police high handedness and public misbehavior - Gupteshwar Pandey - DGP, Bihar

MUMBAI, Sep 5 (BNC Network) Kerala showed the commonsense management during the pandemic. Bihar had hard-soft attitude. Railway police handled the migrant labour traffic. Above all, the human face of the men in uniform was (and is) seen during the corona crisis.

These and many more facts about the soft handling of the hard corona crisis came to the fore at virtual conference organised by Cognigix, a Mumbai-based end-to-end digital learning firm recently.

Seven of the senior-most officers of the Indian Police and Paramilitary Forces addressed the online conference titled ‘Leadership During Crisis: Learning from the Forces’ organised to pay a tribute to the forces for their exceptionally self-less efforts during the Corona crisis and learn from them. Four serving state DGPs from Kerala, Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Sikkim and the DG of Railway Protection Force along with two former DGs shared their stories and insights during the conference.

In conversation with them were thought leaders from industries such as Rashesh Shah, Chairman of Edelweiss, Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder of UpGrad and Bharat Goenka, Vice Chairperson of Tally Solutions. Attended by nearly 5,000 people, this over two hours of inspirational event was witnessed with amazement and immense praise. 

The DGP of Kerala Lokanath Behera gave credit to the idea of community policing and public support which became a major factor in making their corona prevention efforts successful. He also spoke about the use of technology such as drones to spot and warn lockdown violators. The highlight of his conversation with Ronnie Screwvala was the common-sense management of COVID in Kerala.

Arun Kumar, DG of Railway Protection Force emphasized how the RPF personnel went beyond their call of duty while safeguarding the railway properties. They distributed more than 35 lakhs food packets and other essentials to the migrant passengers, provided safety of camp to people walking back home on railway tracks and converted empty coaches into quarantine beds among many other initiatives.

The DGP of Chhattisgarh DM Awasthi in conversation with Bharat Goenka shared the distinction of being one of the very few states that did not report a single incidence of high handedness by police. He emphasised on the humane approach of policing during COVID. He shared a number of initiatives taken by the police including speedy promotions and leading by examples to keep the force motivated. 

The DGP of Bihar Gupteshwar Pandey stressed that unlike other states he had to use a hard-soft strategy to tackle the issues. He explained to Rashesh Shah that it was very important to ensure a balanced approach free of police high handedness and public misbehavior. He narrated how he personally involved himself in many initiatives undertaken by police in Bihar to prevent the spread of Corona and keep the force safe.

A. Shankar Rao, DGP of Sikkim said that they started screening for COVID-19 as early as January. International tourists were issued notices to leave. The whole state was turned into a containment zone and citizens willingly supported the police drives. He shared that interestingly all the pharmaceuticals companies in the state were functioning at 80% capacity and no COVID incidents were reported. 

Former DGs K Durga Prasad of CRPF and SPG, and Julio Ribeiro of Punjab and Gujarat emphasized the incredible role of police during the Corona crisis. They explained how police adapted to the new role of managing public health crisis successfully and won the hearts of citizens. Ribeiro suggested that police must come up with a model that this positivity continues.   

Ajay Kumar, Founder, and CEO, Cognigix said, “I have been working with the law enforcement agencies for a considerable time and understand the challenges and sacrifices that go into performing their duties. This conference is a way to help citizens get an insight into how the forces have been managing the Corona crisis. An event where they come together to pay their tribute to the force.”

The event received excellent response and about 5,000 people from all walks of life joined to listen to the forces and pay a tribute to them. The attendees were personnel from the police and paramilitary forces and their academies and training centers, executives from corporate houses in the public and private sector from India and Indian abroad, students and faculty from top business schools including IIMs, entrepreneurs, startups, SMEs and dignitaries from  various ministries and public sector departments and the public in general.