The state police is also planning to open mobile toilets for women cops deployed for bandobast duties.

Police station in Hyderabad opens creche for women officers children
news Human interest Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 18:10

Around a month ago, a picture of a woman police officer working in her police station with her baby in a cradle on a table went viral on social media. Rachakonda police commissioner, Mahesh Bhagwat, had said he was moved by the picture and promised to make arrangements for the women cops under his commissionerate to work not under pressure, but with ease, without having to worry about their kids.

Touted as Bhagwat’s brainchild, the Mahila police station at Saroornagar inaugurated its first crèche on November 8, named ‘We Care’, for the convenience of women officers with toddlers.

Talking to TNM, Bhaygalakshmi, a woman constable at the Mahila police station, says that thanks to the crèche, they don’t have to worry about their toddlers while they are at work.

“Our police station has around 43 staff members, of which 25 are women out of whom five women have kids aged below 5. Three of them now drop their kids at the crèche and attend to them whenever required. I also bring my 2-year-old boy along with me to the station and put him under the care of the staff at the crèche. Even complainants who come to the police station can drop their kids at the crèche until their counselling session is over,” Bhagyalakshmi says.

The move comes as a major relief for the women cops in the commissionerate who narrate how difficult it is to juggle work and home after they have kids.

“Before the crèche was opened, I used to either call my mother or mother-in-law to my house to take care of the baby. Sometimes, my husband used to stay back as I wouldn’t get time off from work. When my child was 8-9 months old, I used to take permission from my seniors just to go home and breastfeed the baby. Now that I can bring him along with me, I can concentrate better on my work, while simultaneously attending to my kid,” Bhagyalakshmi says.

Meanwhile, Mahesh Bhagwat has also promised to have a crèche in all police stations before next year, when they plan to recruit 33% women constables across police stations.

“Similar initiatives should be implemented across the country, as this will help women to work without constantly worrying about their toddlers and also will encourage many mothers to come to office and work,” Bhagyalakshmi opines.

In another move worth applauding, the Hyderabad police department will be soon launching mobile toilets for women police officers deployed for bandobast duties.

There are about 23,000 women police officers in the state and they are a constant presence at every procession and rally in the state. But without access to private toilets at the places deployed, many women police officers complain of having to go in search of a government office or a private place in order to relieve themselves. Often, they do not drink water in the fear of having to relieve themselves.

Addressing the issue, Swati Lakra, the IG for women’s safety, says that the mobile toilet will be a bus-like vehicle and can travel anywhere easily.

“At present, the vehicle will have toilets and a wash area. We are also planning to set up sanitary napkin dispensers in the wash area for use by the women officers,” she said, in an interview to the New Indian Express.

In addition to separate washrooms and restrooms at police stations, officials say that this move will boost the performance of women police officers while working on the field.

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