New Delhi: Police's
role often doesn't end with busting crime and jailing criminals.
In a first of its kind initiative, Delhi Police has begun a
coaching centre for students from economically weaker sections,
particularly Muslims, to help them prepare for competitive
The centre housed in the Jamia Nagar police station will provide
free tutoring for competitive exams to students who cannot afford
the high fees demanded by coaching centres. It is to start in May
"The motive behind opening of a coaching centre for the aspirants,
especially Muslims, is to encourage them for competitive
examinations," Ajay Chaudhry, Additional Commissioner of Police,
"We are trying to change their assumption that they cannot get
government jobs," he added.
The police station already has a library-cum-counselling centre
for the aspirants which has been operational since Feb 22 and sees
around 25-30 students every day.
"We have been running a free-of-cost library in the premises in
coordination with an NGO, Shikhar, which has been working for more
than 12 years to provide better education, especially to the girls
from weak minority sections," said Chaudhry.
He said the initiative was also an effort to promote trust and
harmony between the police and residents of Jamia Nagar, which
witnessed the 2008 Batla House shootout. On Sep 19, 2008, two
alleged Indian Mujahideen members and a police officer were killed
in a shootout at the Batla House. The suspected militants were
said to have been involved in the Delhi serial bomb blasts on Sep
It has been alleged that the shootout was a stage-managed affair.
"The encounter has painted a wrong picture of the police among
residents here (Jamia Nagar) and we want them to open up with us
and not be scared of us," said Chaudhry.
According to Nadeem Akhtar, secratary of Shikhar, the aim is also
to focus on school dropouts and girls.
Meanwhile, Delhi Police have provided furniture for the library
where the coaching centre is to be set up, while Shikhar would
take care of the expenditure.
"We'll be hiring two to three teachers to help the students in
cracking the SSC (Staff Selection Commission), banking and other
entrance exams," said Chaudhry.
If the response is positive, there are plans of expansion and the
police may hire one or two more rooms outside the police station,
The station house officer of the Jamia Nagar police station
Satyavir Singh Daggar is upbeat about the idea.
"The starting of the coaching centre will encourage the community
and it will also act as an interface between the people and
police. It will also help in building a better image of police,"
Daggar told IANS.
The initiative has also got a thumbs up from the Delhi Minorities
Commission (DMC) which has pledged its support.
"We will provide as much funds as possible to support this noble
initiative," DMC Chairman Safdar H. Khan told IANS.
The students visiting the library regularly were obviously gung-ho
about the initiative.
"I come here every day as I can read newspapers, magazines and
books without spending a single rupee. If the free coaching centre
comes up it will surely help me and my friends realize our
dreams," said Hemraj Kumar, 19, resident of Jamia Nagar.
Abida, also a regular at the library, said: "I want to study but
my parents cannot afford my education expenditure. If the coaching
centre opens here, I would be the first student."
(Rajnish Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)