After his retirement from the police force, Vasant Dhoble — the face of moral policing in the city — may have given up his hockey stick but not his quest to put things right. Six months ago, Dhoble launched a website that would help people locate their missing loved ones.
“The website, missingpeopleinfo.com is formed with the sole intention of reuniting missing people with their families. We are collecting information about missing persons from complaint made at more than 13,800 police stations across the country,” Dhoble said. The site, he added, will also figure out if some of the missing persons — mostly women and children — are victims of crimes such as flesh trade and child labour, with the help of police records. Dhoble said, “We plan to use a facial recognition software to corroborate our doubts.”
It was during his stint as the Assistant Commissioner of Police (Missing Persons Bureau) that Dhoble decided to look for the people he could not find back then. Dhoble had retired in May 2015.
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Like Dhoble, many other officers have also got into such activities post retirement in a bid to give back to the society. For example, former Mumbai Police commissioner D Sivanandan is part of up to 15 Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) which mostly work for the betterment in health and education sectors.
Sivanandan, who said he’s been giving successive lectures at police academies across the country since retirement.Quite recently, he gave a lecture on economics of terrorism and insurgency. “I have not had a single night of hiatus since retirement. I have been associated with the NSA and RBI so I have been travelling,” he said.
Former Mumbai Police commissioner Julio Ribeiro, who retired in 1989, said post retirement, he has been as busy as he when he was working as a cop. “After retirement, I was made the ambassador to Romania for four years, until 1993. Soon after, I started an NGO, Mohalla Committee Movement that aims at communal harmony. It has now completed 22 years,” he said. The other NGO that he began is ‘Public Concern for Governance Trust’ to bridge the gap between students and those in authority.
“Later this month, the Mumbai Police Commissioner will be talking to a group of students in the city at an event we’ve organised,” he said. Not just NGOs, Ribeiro has also contributed as a writer for several publications in the country. Another top cop, who took a plunge into social service is A N Roy, former Director General of Police, Maharashtra, who was at the helm when Mumbai faced the worst possible terror attack in November, 2008.
Roy had retired on May 31, 2010, and on June 1, he started working with NGO Vandana Foundation that he and his daughter run together at present. It works for the betterment of people struggling to make ends meet and supports them in finding livelihood options.
“In two districts in Vidarbha — Yavatmal and Wardha — we support largely the wives of the farmers who have committed suicide to make them financially stable through medium micro-enterprise. In the slums of Mumbai, we help people engage in micro businesses to help them expand their incomes,” Roy said.
Shuttling between Mumbai and Vidharbha every month, Roy said a khadi project is also in the line. Elaborating on the project, he said it comprises several charkha centres, where women can come and spin the charkhas and earn money.
While for many the transition from police service to social work is the easiest way to serve the country, there are a few who are trying their hands in politics.
For example, former Mumbai Police Commissioner Satyapal Singh took voluntary retirement from his position to join Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and P K Jain left the force to join the Republican Party of India (RPI).
Another top cop who joined politics is Y C Pawar who retired from the force in 2001. Pawar, who joined politics inin 2006, at present holds a “vice-president” position with the BJP but claimed that it “is a defunct position”.
“There is a trust, Nimbul Gram Vikas Mandal, which my brother used to run but after his death in 2002, I took charge of it. We run a dispensary in my village Nimgul in Dhule district. It is built on 2,300 square feet land and became operational last year. I am currently without a BJP portfolio,” Pawar added.
Meanwhile, a few others are climbing the corporate ladder. M N Singh, who retired almost 14 years ago, said he had to make the switch to corporate life to make both ends meet. “I can’t survive on a pension in a city like Mumbai. I have never been organised but I’ve always let my personal life take its course. I am happy and contented,” Singh claimed.
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