In the Naxal-affected village of Bahuar in Uttar Pradesh, Father’s Day came bearing the most precious gift – the one of education. Superintendent of Police, Mirzapur Ashish Tiwari, adopted a school and refurbished it completely to resemble a bright yellow school bus!
Here are a few pictures:
The idea is to encourage enthusiasm among students to go to school by giving it a modern revamp and facilitating it with audio-visual aids to improve the quality of education.
While the IPS officer has certainly won the hearts of the villagers and the respect of his seniors through the remarkable initiative, it is important to point out that this isn’t the first time the man has introduced social innovations in policing.
Who is SP Ashish Tiwari?
Born and raised in the town of Itarsi in the heart of the country, Madhya Pradesh, Ashish Tiwari is the son of Itarsi Railways Section Engineer, Kailash Narayan Tiwari. Until Class 12, Ashish studied at the Kendriya Vidyalaya in the small town.
From 2002 to 2007, he pursued BTech in computer science and MTech from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur.
After completing his Master’s degree, Ashish was selected in the campus placements and moved to work as an investment banker in London for the famous global financial services firm, Lehman Brothers. After a year there, he moved to Japan’s Nomura Bank and spent another two years there. His performance at both banks gave him the opportunity to be on the expert panel.
But in 2010, when he was at the peak of his career, earning an annual package of over one crore rupees according to Dainik Bhaskar, the IPS officer decided to return to India and prepare for the Union Public Service Commission exams.
While he was selected for Indian Revenue Services (Income Tax) in 2011 and secured an all-India rank of 330, he wasn’t satisfied. He attempted the competitive exam yet again in 2012 and was selected to the prestigious Indian Police Services with Rank 219.
Since then, the journey of the young IPS officer has been nothing short of inspiring.
Other ‘green’ initiatives
Only last year, he rose to the limelight after he introduced his unique ‘green’ brigade of women in the Naxal-affected district, Mirzapur.
Donning a green saree as their uniform and armed with a whistle, the women groups spread across ten villages are not only fighting domestic abuse and social evils like gambling and liquor addiction but also keeping a check on Naxalite activities.
Civil society organisations like the Hope Welfare Trust as well as students from Banaras Hindu University came forward to help train the women in karate and martial arts. They also held skill-training workshops in stitching and cooking to help the women become independent.
Speaking to the Hindi daily Dainik Bhaskar, the SP said, “If villages have to embark on the path of progress, it is the women we need to empower first. Keeping this philosophy in mind, I started the green group. While some of these women have husbands who worked as Naxalites, several have lost their husbands to ensuing Naxal conflicts in their respective areas.”
The green group works towards controlling crime, illegal gambling, the sale of drugs and bootlegging and encouraging those affected by these social vices to give them up.
The minute they witness or are tipped off about illegal businesses, they whistle and alert their group mates and confront the wrongdoers. They have also been given ‘Friends of the Police’ identity cards that give them the authority to crack down on suspicious activities.
A duty management software for the police force
Another initiative by the SP that garnered accolades last year was the development of software that keeps a tab on duties assigned to cops and tracks their movements, streamlining the roster management of the force.
According to a Hindustan Times report, the software ensures that all police constables are assigned duties fairly, without discrimination and also helps track their movement and location while patrolling and beat duties.
This police duty management software is the brainchild of Mirzapur SP Ashish Tiwari, who spent over three months developing it, putting his knowledge of computer science at IIT Kanpur to full use.
The software was developed after the SP was bombarded with complaints about the unfairness in the assignment of duties to constables and sub-inspectors by head constables and stations officers when he was the SP (rural area) in Varanasi.
Using this software, duties are being assigned to over 4,200 police personnel across Varanasi. Never has assigning duties or tracking the location of the constables been more easy or accessible.
At a time when not many civil servants dare to work outside the bureaucratic framework, honest officers like IPS Ashish Tiwari are changing the tide. It is stories like his, that help us explore the human side of a force that for the longest time, has been seen with scepticism as mere protectors of the law.
We salute his work and hope other officers are inspired to replicate some of these initiatives and be true protectors of the law.
(Edited by Shruti Singhal)