On a mission: a policeman’s journey to make a village crime free

N. Thingalan, a police constable, is attempting to make Madhakadapa, a village near Vaniyambadi, crime free by helping children and youngsters get an education and jobs

Until recently, village residents of Madhakadapa, which is situated on top of a hill near Vaniyambadi, were not very friendly with the police. The only time law enforcers were seen was when they descended upon the hamlet to arrest residents who brewed and sold illicit arrack.

But now, their attitude towards the police has changed. This is because N. Thingalan, a police constable, has embarked upon a mission to make the village crime-free by providing necessary assistance and help to children and youngsters for them to get educated and employed.

For his work, Mr. Thingalan, a grade I constable in the Vaniyambadi Taluk police station, was presented with the Policeman of the Week award by P. Vijayakumar, Superintendent of Police, Tirupathur recently.

“We had started a village vigilance committee in the district to improve our relationship with the public, and one policeman was put in-charge of each village in his limit. Mr. Thingalan was assigned the Madhakadapa hamlet, which lies on the Andhra Pradesh border," said Mr.Vijayakumar.

When Mr. Thingalan went to the village, not many welcomed him. “There are 150 houses in the hamlet, and out of these some are involved in prohibition crimes. There are close to 200 cases against a few of the villagers. The remaining residents are daily wage earners and they travel to neighbouring states in search of work,” said Mr. Thingalan.

On the first day the residents were suspicious about his intentions. “I then started going about in plainclothes and started interacting with the villagers. I explained what the the village vigilance committee was about, and gained their confidence. All of them wanted to live in a crime-free hamlet,” he said.

Mr. Thingalan started encouraging children in the village to take part in essay competitions organised by the Tirupathur Collectorate and SP’s office. “I also gave them books for their education. Many youngsters wanted jobs, so I have spoken to a few industries in Vaniyambadi for the same. I will also coordinate with the Collectorate to get them admitted in schools and colleges,” he added.

To detect prohibition offenders, the village residents have also come forward to install CCTV cameras. “Police personnel in my station will also share the cost. We will also be helping those who wish to leave crime by getting them help from the government to purchase cows etc.,” explained Mr. Thingalan.

Vaniyambadi Taluk Inspector K. Mangairkarasai, also spoke to the villagers and a signboard with contact details of Mr. Thingalan has been installed at the hamlet. “The people can call me whenever they want. I have also started a Whatsapp group for villagers to contact me,” he said.

V. Hari, a student from the village, said that Mr. Thingalan has helped in changing the face of the village. “We had a wrong perception about policemen earlier,” he said.

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