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Young women IPS officers show how to bring harmony to Nagaland

By MK Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan- 19 Feb 2021
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New Delhi (19.02.2021): Two young women IPS officers have proven themselves as the best interlocutors between the people of Nagaland and the GoI. Their compassionate, materially helpful, and practical approach to solving a plethora of problems of the Naga people in their areas of operation (AoP) has earned them the confidence and gratitude of the people. Their dedication to the wellbeing of the people, from the children to the aged and the women, in particular, couldn't but have convinced them that Bharatvarsha cares for them, indeed does really care for them.

It all began with Vrinda Shukla (IPS:2014:NL) who won the hearts and minds of the people at large in the Mon and Phek districts through her outreach and communication initiative to mitigate the social and economic distress of these isolated districts located in the far-eastern region of the country. When she finally shifted on the inter cadre deputation to UP to be with her husband in 2019, she had already left the trail for another young officer Pritpal Kaur Batra (IPS:2016:NL) to follow.

In the newly-created district of Noklak where she moved from Tuensang, Pritpal has been working 24x7 to move people towards freedom from drug abuse, towards self-development by running coaching courses for the young to prepare them for UPSC, PCS, and other Class 1 services in the police and paramilitary forces as well as banking and other services. 

For this purpose, she is said to have turned the conference hall of the SP’s office into a classroom. She has also roped in some officers of the state civil services and an Assam Rifles doctor to train about 30 students, some of whom are employed, from 6 am - 10 am thrice a week.

Her efforts are beginning to yield results. Seven of her students have reportedly cleared the prelims of the state civil services exam this year.

Besides, being a trained dentist, she personally services people with dental problems that happen to be quite widespread all over the NE states (Nagaland being no exception) because of the traditional and common habit of chewing betel nut.

If efforts of Vrinda and Pritpal, one from Ambala and another from Yamunanagar, are taken forward with certain innovative measures like creating a climate-specific unit of ICAR (of course, there is an ICAR unit in Jorhat not too far away from Mon and Mokukchung but the hills have a different climate) to develop horticulture, floriculture, apiculture, pisciculture, organic poultry and piggery in addition to the promotion of tourism, one can be sure that the simple but brave and intelligent people of Nagaland will overcome their feeling of isolation and develop a healthy attachment with the Union of India.

Military thinkers have been calling for such measures for a long time. But the problem of New Delhi's civil servants and political leaders is that they have invested very little in understanding the problems caused by geography and attendant history, much less in smartly resolving the daily problems, of the hill people of Northeast, despite the creation of an exclusive NE Ministry. Hence the Act East policy hasn't acquired the momentum it could have since its unveiling by late PM PV Narsimha Rao, whom Vinay Sitapati has called "Half Lion".

(By MK Shukla & Rakesh Ranjan) 

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