Question of Protecting the Protectors

Question of Protecting the Protectors

The researches conducted on coronavirus (COVID19) so far suggest that this epidemic is more deadly for older people in comparison to the younger. It has been seen that there are people who, due to their high immunity, did not encounter any symptoms of this disease, yet they became the means to infect this virus in other people. Therefore, they have been termed as ‘silent spreader’. Likewise, the fatal effects of this virus infection have not been seen in the youth who are under the age of 30. Moreover, their recovery trends have shown that they, in a considerable proportion, have survived through it with relatively small losses.

Our scientists, governments, administrative officers, enlightened people, and many non-governmental organizations are putting every effort to avert this disease and find new solutions day by day. Many of these people, such as health workers, cleaning workers, policemen, bank employees, etc., have stayed on their positions as a guard to face the disease. We all expressed our appreciation on the call of the Prime Minister on 22 March, to express our gratitude by clapping and beating the dishes with enthusiasm for thanking all of them; it reflects our sentiments for these people.

However, in this article, I want to draw your attention mainly to the threat that policemen are facing during this time. Since these people will come in contact with infected people as the spread goes on at the existing pace. It is this group whois standing in the first line of defense to protect us from this disease. Therefore, among all police personnel, people above the age of 50 should be identified because they are more susceptible to infection due to low immunity along with other factors. Is this aspect being considered anywhere in all the protection proposal? I have not come across yet any such discussion.

To my knowledge, many policemen are in their last year of service, they have reached the age of 59, they are about to retire in 1,2 or 6 months, which means that after that respective period, the government does not consider them fit for any police work. Nevertheless, at the time of this pandemic, no special provisions have been made for their security due to their receptivity to the virus. Similarly, many such people are also included in this category who are about to retire in 1 or 2 years, they are still residing in the police stations and discharging their duties similar to the normal conditions. What are the arrangements of residence in the police stations and what is the overall condition of the police stations, we are all aware of this, hence there is no need to discuss it in detail. In these circumstances, the question occurs to us who are despite being younger to them and therefore, less receptive to this disease are staying at our homes. can we comprehend and empathize with their circumstances? I hope that those whose mother, father and other close relatives are facing this situation may realize this situation. Furthermore, I hope that the police officers with a higher rank will also recognize this threat to the staff of their department.

Has this question become significant enough for higher police officials, state governments and other enlightened people yet? Or the idea that the job of police has always been full of risks and the fact that there is a huge shortage of police force in the state, have prevented them even from assessing possible solutions to this problem. I am not sure about that but it is understandable, these people are facing even greater challenges that have exploded due to this unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. In such a situation, likely, this subject has not attracted their attention so far. Since this is an extraordinary time, we have to find extraordinary ways to solve the problems emerging from it. To carry out this work, multidimensional approaches have to be examined on various issues, for that people should leave the critical attitude and begin to think innovatively and socially to save as many lives as possible. The most difficult times of life are those times that allow us all to collectively expand our abilities and limitations. History is replete with many such instances when a country or society has seen its best form in its most difficult circumstances, in this regard, Japan is a notable example after World War II. However, the most important and preliminary step for this is to accept these problems, the second step is to share them widely and the third step is to collectively explore their solutions as a society or a nation. One of these many questions is whether we will let these senior policemen move directly towards death in this difficult time in exchange for their lifetime services, or will we make an effort to find a collective solution to it?

I think the biggest problem in sending them on leave is the lack of police personnel. Therefore, after assessing the number of policemen above 50 years, first should look at the total number of them and whether some or all of them can be engaged in some work where they are less likely to be in direct contact with infected people, for example by appointing them in the control room or helpline or other offices. Besides, an attempt can be made to grade the police personals between the age of 50 to 60 based on their health and seniority. This grading will help find the most vulnerable among them,  who can be sent on leave. To perform this responsibility, we can urge the youth cadets from organizations like the National Cadet Corps (NCC) to volunteer, additionally, youth from paramilitary forces may be deployed. By analyzing data we can map out a district-wise strategy and thus restrain ourselves from putting the lives of these veteran policemen at risk by formulating an appropriate proportion of NCC cadets and younger paramilitary personnel along with the majority of young policemen.

Anyhow, If this is not possible, a separate arrangement can be made for young and older policemen to stay in police stations, comparable to the experts advise for the elderly people residing at homes. Further, adequate supplies of essential safety items such as masks, gloves, and sanitizers are an essential step in this regard. Since, it has been reported that there is a shortage of these items in the market. Hence, as far as masks are concerned, residents can also manufacture them at home and provide them as a symbol of gratitude. However, the government will have to pay more attention to the supply of sanitizer and gloves.

In the end, I am hoping that the higher-level officials in the police department can find out many other ways due to their experience and expertise. Nevertheless, for that to happen, it is indispensable to bring this problem before them. Therefore, the purpose of this article is to bring this subject to the people who will consider it more than proposing possible solutions, then, many avenues can come out.

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