'Sir, why do stars like Sanjay Dutt get special treatment?'

Published: 26 December, 2013 07:50 IST | Salil Urunkar |

Yerawada police station officials had no easy answers to some of the tough questions posed by this group of 40 kids from a city-based orphanage, who visited them on Christmas Day, as part of an educational trip

“Sir, why do film stars like Sanjay Dutt get VIP treatment from police?”
“Do you really hand in the money collected as fine from citizens to the government?”
“How much do I have study to become a police officer?’

This Christmas Day was a one-of-a-kind experience for cops from Yerawada police station, and a group of kids from Aapla Ghar – a centre for destitute children, based in Warje. The kids, who came calling, stumped the cops with their pointed questions.

Going great guns: The motive behind the programme, organised by Aapla Ghar — the orphanage — was to familiarise the kids with the functioning of the police force 

The children had been invited by Yerawada police on the occasion of Christmas to make them aware about the functioning of a police station, the weapons used, and other procedures.

“After our visit to Yerawada police station, the children have become more confident. The apprehensions about policemen have vanished, but at the same time the respect for them has been restored in the minds of the kids. The whole motive behind this exercise was to make these children understand the functioning of the police force. We, as a society, should try to appreciate the human being in every police personnel, and this was our first step in that direction,” said Vijay Phalnikar, founder of Aapla Ghar.

On target: 40 kids from the orphanage Aapla Ghar were at Yerawada police station on Christmas Day

Police officer Kiran Neel, who organised the visit, said, “We were taken aback by the questions of these children. They knew about the Sanjay Dutt episode, juvenile crimes, etc, and their observations were very strong about police collecting fines from citizens at various chowks. We showed them how cops work at police stations, our handcuffs and the weapons, like pistols, carbines, SLR. Many of these children expressed the wish to take up higher studies and become cops, which we are willing to support.”

About Aapla Ghar
Aapla Ghar is an NGO managed by Late Vaibhav Phalnikar Memorial Foundation. It was established in 2001 by Vijay Phalnikar and Sadhana Phalnikar in the memory of their only son Vaibhav, who died of cancer. It started in a modest way, by providing free ambulance service for the benefit of economically backward sections of society. 

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