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Will Mahila Commandos be Revamped as ‘Super Cops?
A special women’s brigade – ‘Mahila Commandos’ – raised by a voluntary organization in Chhattisgarh’s Balod district has been fighting alcoholism and other social evils in their society for a decade, now it may soon be categorized as Super Police Officers (SPO).
The idea of SPO has been introduced by Balod Superintendent of Police Arif Sheikh Hussain to give a new dimension to the commando concept. On a pilot basis, about 100 women commandos have so far been made SPOs, carrying batons and donning maroon sarees and caps, a senior police official said, adding that a proposal has been sent to the state government to raise around 1,000 SPOs.
A prominent social activist Shamshad Begum laid the foundation of women commandos in 2006 starting from her native place in Gunderdehi development block when it was part of undivided Durg district (now in Balod, which is about 100 kilometres from state capital Raipur).
What started as 100 members of self-help groups has now crossed 8,000 women in this unique drive, Begum said. “‘Make future generation free of liquor’ is the motto of women commandos. These women want their children to protect themselves from the troubles they (women) had suffered due to alcoholism by male family members”.
Begum said, Women commandos are active in about 300 villages in the district’s Gunderdehi, Gurur and Balod development blocks. Now, their operation is being expanded to around 150 villages of Patan development block in the neighboring Durg district. Begum has been leading the campaign through her ‘Sahyogi Jan-Kalyan Samiti’.
Besides discharging their household responsibilities, these women are also engrossed in social service, she said. About 30-40 commandos armed with sticks and torches conduct patrolling in respective villages from evening till late night to check boozing and illegal liquor sale. Whenever they come across any inebriated person, they try to convince him to quit liquor addiction, she said, adding that sometimes women commandos have to take help of village sarpanch and police to deal with the situation.
Certain rules have been laid down to select women commandos as they have to work in difficult situation while at the same time they cannot take law and order in their hands, the activist underlined. Beside the anti-liquor movement, the women commandos are also fighting against social evils like dowry system, making people aware of government schemes and spreading message of peace and brotherhood, she pointed out.
Begum exuded confidence that the campaign is expected to show good results in a few years.]]>