“There has been no Police Reforms for the last 60 years and there is a dearth of research on policing in the country,” said Dr. Kiran Bedi, while delivering the IGNOU Silver Jubilee Lecture in the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) campus.
Dr Kiran Bedi exhorted IGNOU to play a proactive role in the field of Policing research. ”Who researches policing, does the research become public? No data is available on the police and States in the country have no resources and no budget to undertake this type of research. IGNOU can play a major role in the field of Police research. Your research will be policy making.”
Dr Bedi further said judicial reforms are also least researched . Judicial reforms and Police reforms are linked as there can be no police reforms without reforms in the judicial system.
She added that as per a recent survey by CNN-IBN, public has more faith in the Judiciary than in the Police. IGNOU can be the agents of change by helping train police lower ranks in computer basics, which will empower them to serve citizens better.
Dr Bedi advocated the inclusion of two programmes by IGNOU, on Domestic Violence and Drug Abuse Treatment. Talking about domestic violence, she said ,”We have the laws and the infrastructure on Domestic violence but the awareness about the law is very low. There is a gnawing need for a training programme for NGOs to manage Councellors who work with domestic violence sufferers.”
Dr Bedi added that Drug Abuse treatment, a field in which she has been actively involved for the last 21 years, urgently needs trained counselors. “What is happening now is that patients who get treated, go on to start Drug Rehabilitation Centres. And sometimes patients are chained to treat them, in these Centres,” she added.
Dr Bedi offered the Family Councelling Centres being run by Navjyoti, her NGO, as Training centres for IGNOU students. She also offered to provide internships to students enrolled in these two proposed IGNOU programmes .
Dr. Kiran Bedi, IPS was speaking on “Welfare, Preventive Policing and Helping the Helpless”, organized by IGNOU. The talk was based on the rich experience and expertise of the speaker, including more than 35 years of tough , innovative and welfare policing, while focusing on the broader theme of ‘including the excluded’.
Describing Welfare policing as the Power to correct, not arrest, Dr Bedi, shared her experimentations and insights gained as the founder of two renowned NGOs, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which reach out to over 10,000 beneficiaries daily in areas of drug abuse treatment, schooling for children of prisoners, in addition to education, training, counseling and health care to the urban and rural poor.
The lecture provided a plan of action for moving forward with objectives of welfare, preventive policing and helping the helpless.