The order is to help officers maintain their wellbeing and is to be implemented with immediate effect, Tamil Nadu Director General of Police C Sylinder Babu said.

C Sylinder Babu looking at the camera in his uniform COMMONS.WIKIMEDIA/DIWAN07
news POLICE Saturday, July 31, 2021 - 12:11

In a move that comes as a relief to police personnel in Tamil Nadu, Director General of Police (DGP) C Sylinder Babu on Friday, July 30, announced that they will be given a weekly off, along with holidays on their birthday and wedding anniversaries. In a circular regarding the same, the DGP directed that the holidays should be implemented with immediate effect. According to the document, the decision was made keeping in mind the wellbeing of police officers. “In the compulsory weekly off, the personnel can spend quality time with their family and maintain their well being. If the personnel are working on their day off, they are entitled for compensation pay,” the circular added.

Many in the Tamil Nadu police department, including senior officers, have welcomed the move and point out that it will increase productivity and develop a positive attitude among personnel. This has been a long-standing demand of the police, as due to severe stress, several police officers have taken their own lives in Tamil Nadu in the past. In 2018, a report from the Ministry of Home Affairs stated that Tamil Nadu has the highest number of suicide cases among police officers in India, the Times of India reported. According to a report in DTNEXT published in March 2020, Tamil Nadu recorded as many as 11 police deaths in a week, among which six were cases of suicide. Among the stressors are high workload without proper breaks, risk of being injured, unequal workload and personal problems, the TOI report stated.

In 2018, the Tamil Nadu government teamed up with the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS) to start a stress-buster programme for police officers. This training is being held in a periodic manner in every district of the state.

Speaking to TNM, a police official who conducts the wellbeing training said, “As I conduct wellbeing training for police personnel along with their family members in a few instances, I notice a positive impact among police personnel. The announcement by DGP is widely welcomed by us all.” 

 
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