Kerala police in ‘search’ of couples who comply with COVID-19 protocol

In Kozhikode, couples who religiously fall in line with the safety guidelines during their wedding are appreciation certificates.

At a time when the Kerala police are facing bouquets and brickbats for the stringent enforcement of COVID-19 protocol, here is a team of police officials in Kozhikode rural area who are keen on knocking at the doors of their citizens with colourful bouquets and appreciation certificates for a special reason.

In a unique move, the police officials here are on the ‘lookout’ for couples who religiously fall in line with the safety guidelines during their wedding and make their happiest moments the safest experience for all invitees.

“We have so far distributed around 40 such appreciation certificates to the newly married within the Kozhikode rural police district. The couples were all very excited as we could plan it as surprise gifts for them acknowledging their cooperation amidst this pandemic time,” Kozhikode District Police Chief A. Sreenivas told The Hindu on Wednesday. He said he would personally call on such couples on possible occasions or otherwise delegate his colleagues to hand over the certificates.

Following the creative move of the khaki-clad, many families in the Kozhikode rural area have been found strictly complying with the safety guidelines and following the principle of minimalism. The number of visitors to various wedding and other similar family events witnessed a considerable drop. Since the idea was launched as part of an intensive awareness programme, it was well received by the public. It also paved the way for many families to share some cordial moments with the police officials.

“For a better planning, we collect the list of all weddings in our area in advance from the COVID-Jagratha portal or through the Special Branch reports. Later, our team, comprising sectoral magistrates and police officials, will visit the spots to confirm that the families are properly complying with the rules and follow social distancing norms,” said Dr. Sreenivas. He also said similar creative interventions would be made in the days to come as part of the awareness drives.

‘Kuttikkaval’ (Child Watch) was another innovative idea launched by the Kozhikode Rural Police recently to make children aware of the pandemic threats and their humble roles to fight off the crisis in their own family. Awareness messages intended to the young audience were widely circulated through various social media applications. Apart from the social media campaign, they were given exclusive opportunities to participate in various online competitions such as video making, posters and trolls to create social awareness. The best items were promised attractive gifts.

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