In a first of its kind move, the Maharashtra Police have opened a crèche for those police personnel who are worried about their children when they are at work. These parents can drop their children at this crèche and retired nurses from government hospitals will take care of them.
The crèche has been opened in Sangli police headquarters. Now, four other police headquarters in Maharashtra have showed their willingness to open crèches. The state police department has asked Mumbai Police to consider opening a crèche.
The Maharashtra Police have 13 per cent women personnel, the highest in the country. "Women cops work for more than eight hours a day. There are many who have to leave their children back at home with either their in-laws or with domestic help and they often worry about them. We wanted to do something to free these women of any such stress, and hence, we came up with this initiative of a crèche," said Archana Tyagi, special inspector general of police, state police administration.
Explaining the initiative, Tyagi said, "The crèche has a play area, food and recreation facilities and trained women staff from anganwadis to look after the children. Not only women cops, but their male counterparts too can drop in their children aged between six months and 10 years in the crèche and can do their duty without any stress. As of now, the crèche facility is limited to police headquarters, as most women cops work there. All the police headquarters have to provide is some space within its premises for a crèche. The money for setting it up is generated through the police welfare fund."
Sangli superintendent of police Dilip Sawant said: "The response has been extremely good with 24 children already put in the crèche. Opening of the crèche has also brought down the rate of women cop absenteeism. We have a doctor and trained nurses who have retired from the civil hospital at the crèche. It functions for 12 hours from 8am."
"We have written to all the district police and commissionerates asking them to consider the setting up crèches at their headquarters. At least four more headquarters have shown their willingness for this. We are also in talks with the Mumbai Police in this regard," said Tyagi.