Going beyond the call of duty, Pritpal Kaur, Superintendent of Police, Noklak — the youngest district in Nagaland — has been working for the upliftment of the locals to provide them with a better life as the area is plagued by lack of basic infrastructure and amenities. It was only in late January 2021 that Noklak was carved out of Tuensang district, and established as the 12th district of the state.
This passionate Haryana cop plans on prioritising three problems the district has been grappling with — a stringent check on alcohol consumption and drug abuse, monitoring law and order situation, and helping students in their pursuit of quality education.
Mentoring UPSC aspirants
Kaur had qualified for the civil services exam in 2016, and knows the struggle behind cracking the exam. To help aspirants in their preparation, she reached out to them on social media, and started conducting free classes with the assistance of some police and civil administration members.
That’s not all. Kaur has also been providing free reading material to students with her own salary. Apart from the UPSC exams, the students are also preparing for the SSC, CAPF, bank and state-level departmental exams.
With little to no resources, she decided to turn the conference hall of the SP’s office into a classroom, offering free coaching to as many as 30 students.
"The students here are very talented but financial constraints and the lack of opportunities create hurdles on their path of success. So, we decided to provide equal opportunity to them so that they can excel in their lives and future. Empowered students make an empowered society," shared Kaur with a media outlet.
Fighting drug menace
Besides helping aspirants fulfil their educational goals, Kaur has also been fighting a relentless battle against drug peddling. Noklak’s close proximity to international borders makes it a breeding ground for drug dealing. Taking charge of the situation, Kaur created an anti-drug squad and involved the locals, NGOs and church leaders. She has also been frequently visiting schools to spread awareness about the harmful impact of substance abuse.
Currently, more than 100 drug addicts are undergoing treatment, and Kaur has extended all her support by helping them be a part of livelihood generating programmes.
"As their SP, whenever people knock at my door, I'll never say no. They'll always be welcome. We're family now. I'm 3000 km away from my family. So now, Noklak has become my family,” added Kaur.
Lessons on sustainability
Kaur has also been imparting lessons to farmers on utilising sustainable agricultural solutions. She and her team pay frequent visits to villages in the district and teach locals how to practise farming in the right manner.
“There are some self-help groups here. We invited people from the Krishi Vigyan Kendra and seeds of six vegetables were given to the villagers. They were also imparted lessons on scientific farming. I have sent 21 farmers to Dimapur (state's commercial hub) to learn food processing and they will become master trainers. They will teach every villager," said Kaur.
The officer, who is also a dentist, has also been discouraging the consumption of betel and nuts among locals, which is the primary cause of oral cancer. She conducts sessions to help people maintain their dental hygiene.
(Edited by Amrita Ghosh)