The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is planning to start talking sessions inspired by village 'chaupals' to facilitate conversations between troopers. The aim behind this is to promote a culture of conversation and venting out of mental agony, as well as facilitating stress management.
The initiative became the need of the hour as the police force saw a rise in suicide and fratricide cases recently. As reported by News 18, a CRPF constable open fired on the personnel, killing four. A press statement said that the person involved has been suffering 'emotional stress leading to sudden psychological disbalance.' The CRPF ordered an inquiry into the incident to understand what took place.
'A Group Sharing Exercise'
Along with encouraging everyone in the force to talk with each other, the 'chaupal' initiative also wants to change the perception about men and emotions. "A force like the CRPF is predominantly made up of men. Socially, men are assumed to be 'strong' and they are not expected to cry or be 'emotional'. To conform to this societal image, male personnel often do not share their worries even with their comrades, and keep them bottled within," Indian Express quoted the note with the necessary guidelines.
According to the guidelines, this will take place in every battalion each week. Around 18-20 members of the personnel will be asked to sit in a circle and under a tree, to give it the 'chaupal'-like feeling in a village. All of them will be asked to wear civilian clothes for this.
"The chaupal will be of 1-2 hours duration, during which the participants will not have access to their phones. Discussions will be entirely informal so that an atmosphere may be created in which every participant is able to talk any domestic or personal issue without any hesitation," it said.
Rise In Suicide Cases
Further, the rules added that no one is allowed to ridicule their peers when they express their issues. "If they get a chance to share or discuss their feelings or their current state of mind, there is a possibility that such thoughts can be controlled," said the rules.
The recent years have seen an unprecedented rise in suicide cases. From 2020 till September this year, the police force reported 101 suicides, that is comparatively higher than 116, which is the total number of cases in 2017, 2018 and 2019 combined. With this one of a kind platform, the CRPF aims to promote mental wellness and break stereotypes about men not having any emotions.