Trivandrum/New Delhi: Kerala, the God’s own country, witnessed the most devastating floods in a century, ravaging the entire state and rendering lakhs of people homeless besides spate of deaths. The colossal surge of water, plight of citizens and multi-tier rescue operation grabbed international headlines.
Now, as Kerala limps back to normalcy, many humongous challenges lie ahead. Rehabilitation and stopping outbreak of epidemic are the immediate task at hand apart from restoration of infrastructure.
However, it’s India’s armed forces and Kerala police who undertook relief and rescue work round the clock and walked the extra mile to save thousands of lives. It’s their Good Samaritan act, which is winning the hearts of people and flood victims. Silently and steadfastly, they carried on the rescue work while putting their own lives in peril.
Kerala police’s Operation Jal Raksha-I and Operation Jal Raksha-II is winning tremendous applause for its all-round rescue and rehabilitation work. In Operation Jal Raksha-I, the Kerala police went above and beyond their duty to rescue stranded people from flood-hit areas while in Operation Jal Raksha – II, they have taken the onus of rehabilitating the displaced and disaster-stricken families.
Kerala police deserves huge accolade and applause for its tremendous act of humanitarian service in times of crisis. And, despite its yeoman service, they take pride in being perceived as ‘unsung heroes’.
Operation Jal Raksha
Under the ‘Operation Jal Raksha’, the Kerala police carried out its biggest ever rescue operation and pressed into service its 40,000 police personnel of various ranks in their mission.
The Kerala police deployed police boats, marine commandoes, women battalion, disaster response team and Thunderbolts along with NDRF teams in evacuating people to safety and ensuring food supply to cut-off areas and remote locations.
According to reports, 4 DGPs, 5 IGs, 2 DIGs, 22 SPs, 68 DSPs, 146 CIs, 865 SIs, 6547 senior civil police officers, 12760 civil police officers, 160 women police team, 80 commandoes, 4300 armed police battalion and 865 coastal policemen participated in the Operation Jal Raksha.
The police managed more than 400 boats, including the fishing boats transported from the coast and operated regional control rooms at all places, from where the information was passed on to the regional units for carrying out rescue work. As per records, the state control room and regional control rooms handled more than 12 lakh calls and messages in 3 days.
They carried out police duties 24×7 even when their own houses were submerged and family members were stranded in the water-logged areas. They carried relief materials on their shoulders, cleaned up the relief camps and went in overdrive to rehabilitate the rescued people.
#Breathtaking visuals of Kerala police crossing a stream in Wayanadu.They are on the way to Pozhuthana Wireless repeater station.The road was washed away in landslide.Journey is inevitable bcoz, the team currently on duty can only return once these people reach there with food. pic.twitter.com/zwNPBucsRK
— Jikku Varghese Jacob (@Jikkuvarghese) August 15, 2018
Operation Jal Raksha – II
Rehabilitation after rescue – is the biggest challenge for the state. And, Kerala police has taken a unique and distinct initiative in this regard.
Kerala police chief Loknath Behera is leading by example. Police Chief Loknath Behera, as part of Operation Jalaraksha – II, will adopt 3 families and help them through the rehabilitation process.
Not just Behera, each police officer in the state of Kerala will ‘adopt’ one family each to help them rebuild their homes and neighbourhoods.
“We envisage a project in which each policeman will give special care and attention to the affected families once they return to their houses from camps. I will take care of the rehabilitation of three families, like an adoption process,” Behera said.
The special scheme was launched to help Kerala residents rebuild their lives in the flood-hit state and to expedite the rehabilitation process.
In addition, economically weaker subjects of the state who have lost their homes to recent floods and landslides will get new homes built for them under the Janamaithri Police Scheme.
The state police of Kerala has also declared that it will donate Rs 10 crore to the chief minister’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Local law enforcement agencies and Women battalion and Rapid Reaction Force (RPF) are also extending assistance in Operation Jalraksha-2.
Kerala Police take over relief camps
In the flood aftermath, one major challenge before authorities is managing over 5,500 relief camps housing more than 7,00,000 people across the state. The maximum number of people are in Alappuzha, Ernakulam, Pathanamthitta and Idukki districts.
As part of operation, the state police will give protection to the families in relief camps and undertake an active programme of support as the flood-affected return to their houses.