After being hailed for spearheading the fight against fake news in Telangana, Jogulamba Gadwal SP Rema Rajeshwari is again in the news again for all the right reasons. In a unique initiative, she has decided that violators of traffic rules should plant a sapling. This move is also a push for the Telangana ku Haritha Haram campaign, under which the state is attempting to maintain 24% of its green cover.
‚ÄúWe decided to involve traffic law violators with the thought that if we are to check crime and it spreads, there should be improvement both in our preventive and remedial efforts,‚ÄĚ Rema Rajeshwari told TNM.
Jogulamba Gadwal has been notorious for the number of fatal road accidents it sees yearly, especially on NH44, which sees a large number of commuters travelling between Karnataka and Telangana. In an effort to curb the number of road accidents, Jogulamba Gadwal traffic cops have been holding a slew of road safety awareness campaigns, especially among minor law violators.
‚ÄúTwo days back, there was a fatal mishap on NH 44 that involved a family who was travelling from Kerala. In a bid to control such mishaps, we now focus on traffic law violators; especially citizens who travel without helmets, valid IDs or driving licence cards, and make them plant a sapling after the stipulated fine amount is paid. In case of minors, we call their parents, give them counselling and also make them a part of the Haritha Haram program, that kicked off in the state on July 8,‚ÄĚ Rajeshwari says.
As part of creating awareness on road safety, the Telangana government has also put up booths on the Jogulamba Gadwal highways, where cops can keep an eye out on citizens who break road rules. The state has created avenues and allotted lands where violators would plant tree saplings after paying the stipulated fine amount.
‚ÄúThe Gadwal district police aims to plant 2 lakhs saplings in all police stations, residential quarters, training facilities and district police office complexes. Each police unit is given a target to involve citizens in the planting activity. Not just traffic law violators, our programme also reaches out to history sheeters and ex-convicts who will join the police teams to plant saplings,‚ÄĚ the officer says.
The Jogulamba Gadwal police has also started a campaign on their Facebook page ‚ÄėJogulamba Gadwal District Police‚Äô with the hashtag #GreenCopsOfGadwal.
In 2016, Rema Rajeshwari got 68 history sheeters to plant trees along with police officers as part of the Haritha Haram programme in Malkajgiri.
Rajeshwari has also been at the helm of conducting a massive awareness campaign across the district to stop the menace of fake news. Reports indicate that after her persistent efforts, there have been no fake news-related killings across 400 villages under her jurisdiction. Other states of Punjab, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu are considering replicating her campaign.