Think of Indian cops and that the image that crops up is not of someone in the league of Bollywood superstars playing physically fit cops over the years. They have been the much lauded super-cops and yet the mental image that kicks in is that of the potbellied, pants struggling to stay up, lazy senior inspectors who don’t have any business getting out of that chair. There is a reason to that. As cops in India gain years and promotions, they start becoming less active and hence the potbelly.
While answering to a PIL filed earlier this week, a high court division bench of Kolkata asked the state government to prepare and submit a report on the “physical and mental fitness” of Kolkata policemen. It is being suggested that it should be either shape up or ship out for cops since a lot depends on their activeness at work. Should it be made mandatory for cops to stay physically fit in order to keep their job?
1. Physical fitness is important
If policemen of our country continue to be lazy and inactive as they gain position, it would be highly dangerous for the safety of people. They are ones responsible for maintaining law and order. Time and again our cops have been blamed of being too slow to act on time and the whole administration comes into bad lights once they begin proving how sloppy they are most of the times.
2. Healthier cops, healthier system
Lacking the will to act on time is a clear sign of obesity and slothfulness. After turning 40, cops start ignoring physical fitness and then there is no going back to being fit again. If it is made mandatory, they will take it seriously and soon we could be looking at officers who are confident and willing to act.
3. After training and fitness programs
There are physical requirements that have to be met before someone can join Police Services. They have to undergo harsh trainings too. But once they are in the system, there is no intermitted testing of fitness or fitness programs that can help them stay in shape. Making it mandatory will make them keep up the training and develop a routine to stay healthy.
4. Taking examples
There are a number of police offers who pay special attention to physical as well as mental fitness. The important thing is that the two are interrelated. With obesity comes mental pressure and stress, both of which are important for cops. Studies have shown that the achievements of physically and mentally fit police officers are way more than the ones that turn obese later in life.
1. Lot on the plate already
Indian police or even cops from all over the world have a lot of responsibilities. Apart of taking care of law and order in their areas, they also have other works like providing security to bureaucrats and politicians. There is serious shortage of staff. With so much to deal with and a hectic schedule to follow every day, it is almost impossible for them to spare time for physical exercises and have quality time to their personal life.
2. Age takes the toll
Expecting every police officer above the age of 50 to stay fit is a lot to ask. They are human beings too. They develop signs of age too, not to forget some of them face a serious injury at times that prevents them from physical exercise. Asking them to quit just because they got potbellied would be offense and unjust. They have years of experience and hard work that we are supposed to be thankful for.
3. Stressed life
Their duties are strict. Work hours are not altered. They have to stay alert come sun or storm. They hardly have time for recreation. They are stressed, far more than we can imagine. Whenever something goes wrong, fingers point at them, and they are expected to solve the cases like super-cops invented by the film industry. That can stress any human and hence obesity.
The panel has been set to probe into the matter and determine what could be done to ensure physical and mental wellness of cops. It would be positive if they could get special care and programs where taking care of health would be easier and paid for.
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