Avoiding any armed personnel in khaki wear or scratchy police radios, children coming to the Dalanwala police station in Dehradun will soon find a separate entrance lead them to the first floor, where a designated room with toys, comic books and wall paintings of popular cartoon characters, from Mowgli to Doraemon, will help them feel comfortable in interacting with the police and reporting any incident without fear.
Uttarakhand’s first child-friendly police station, which has been developed on the first floor of the Dalanwala police station premises, is ready for operation.
Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat was to inaugurate it on Thursday but as he is in home isolation after testing positive for Covid last week, a fresh date for inauguration will be decided after his recovery, authorities said.
Unlike the white walls of the main premises, the floor is painted in bright colours, and printed window blinds are set to replace solid curtains.
This ‘baal mitra police thana’ has been developed under the supervision of Uttarakhand Child Right Protection Commission, and support has been taken from a social organisation in giving the premises a child-friendly look. A training session will soon be held on child-friendly practices for police personnel so that they can provide counseling to children in need.
“On this premises, children caught in petty crimes or other matters like child labour will be provided counselling. An environment has been created so that a child does not feel uncomfortable or any kind of fear while interacting with the police. The police personnel will be in civil dress and counselling of children for their rehabilitation will also be done there,” said Usha Negi, Chairperson of the Uttarakhand Child Right Protection Commission. Negi said that child-friendly police station set-up is ready for operation. She confirmed a fresh date for the inauguration will be decided after the CM recovers.
Shweta Chaubey, SP (City) and nodal officer for the ‘baal mitra police thana’, said it will function as a dedicated unit for juveniles and there will be a separate team of police personnel for interacting with children and their counselling. By the time other police stations get a similar set-up of their own, children from other areas will also be taken to Dalanwala, she said.