As we go about our lives pursuing our goals in the commercial hub of the country, we are almost completely oblivious to the fact that it is due to the dedication and hard work of Mumbai police that everything functions smoothly and peacefully. They work unceasingly towards ensuring that all anti-social elements and activities are kept in check. In their bid to secure our lives, they put their lives to risk but we are hardly aware or sensitive to this aspect.

While they sacrifice their life to the call of duty, their families have to struggle with the procedures of the system to secure their claim benefits. This is not just demoralizing for the police force but also to the aspirants for police jobs at large. All that is slowly changing. The system has woken up to the indifferent approach that was being met out to these police families.

The need for a compassionate attitude to strengthen the police force and a sense of belonging and security is being increasingly felt. Several initiatives are being devised in the direction of boosting the morale of the police force. One such move has been to reach out to the families of the martyrs directly. The commissioner of police sends out a personally signed condolence letter to the family of martyrs. The letter also provides information in detail that helps them to claim the benefits that they are entitled to.

The benefits to the family vary, if the officer loses his life while on duty. He is entitled to benefits like general insurance, leave encashment and family pensions. In some special cases, the sons of deceased policemen are offered jobs in the police force on compassionate grounds. An additional insurance benefit of Rs. 25 lakhs is given to the families of policemen who lose their lives due to accidents.

Speaking to Mumbai Protector, a senior police officer attached to the Mumbai police department said, “Over 100 policemen in Mumbai die every year due to illnesses and accidents. Stress related diseases such as heart-problems, blood pressure and diabetes are the prominent causes of death in the police force.  It is high time we take cognizance of this scenario and take due action.”

“By connecting directly, we show our support to the bereaved families so that they receive their benefits smoothly and on time. The establishment desk at the Mumbai police headquarters is responsible for sending these letters, that contains details like the officials to be approached, their contact official address and contact telephone numbers,” says D.D. Padsalgikar, commissioner of police- Mumbai.  

The practice   was initiated about eight months back by the commissioner of police. A dedicated team has been set up and the duty of the team is to contact the families of the cops and follow-up in the system so that the process is hassle-free and speedy.

“The initiative by the commissioner of police has been accepted and appreciated by the police fraternity since most police officials until now, were not fully conversant with the government benefits and procedures.  The letter provides in detail about the formalities to avail the benefits. With the help of the team that is especially assigned the task of assisting the families of the deceased in receiving their claim benefits, the work is completed in a short span of time. It is comforting and a matter of great relief for the policemen that their families will be taken care of in case of eventualities,” said a police official.

Mohit Naik