After serving for more than 30 years, police personnel usually look forward to their retirement ceremony in which they get a chance to rub shoulders with senior officers, as they say goodbye to the force. This year, to avoid the spread of Covid-19, the department has decided to cancel this much anticipated annual farewell ceremony in Mumbai on Sunday, which would have been attended by no less than 518 retiring personnel.
Instead, the department will send them “goodies” at their homes – a pair of watches, sweets, their retirement ID card, and their benefits.
“As everyone is at risk, we won’t be gathering them at one place. Instead, we shall send goodies for them at their respective residences,” said a senior officer.
But the retiring personnel cannot hide their disappointment. “At the start of the year, I had a discussion with my wife on what she was planning to wear at my retirement ceremony. I had decided to get a new uniform stitched. But that dream is over. We cannot blame anyone,” said one policeman set to retire.
As there are five policemen retiring from his police station, he said his colleagues are set to hold a small felicitation for them.
The ritual of having a ceremony for retiring officers and constables from the Mumbai Police at the hands of the commissioner has been going on for years.
The ceremonies are usually graced by the commissioner, joint commissioner and several other senior IPS officers. The commissioner honours the retiring officer by handing over a shawl, a coconut, a badge of honor, a retirement identity card and a wristwatch with the insignia of the police.
“Retiring at the hands of the commissioner of police is an unforgettable moment in the life of every police personnel. Along with the police, their family members also eagerly wait for this moment because they get to greet and click pictures with the senior officers,” said a retiring officer.
A meal is also arranged for the attendees. “Its not about the food but the honor that we get during the ceremony. During the lockdown, I have worked day and night to ensure that people stay indoors. During this whole time, I was looking forward to my farewell ceremony,” said one inspector.
Another inspector, set to retire, added: “I believe I will be just going to the police station, make a dairy entry after 12 noon and return home.”
Last year on May 31, the farewell ceremony of the retiring policemen was arranged at Shanmukhanada Hall in Matunga.
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