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After retirement, people usually plan to settle down and lead a comfortable, free from work life. However, Namagiri Babji, who retired as a Deputy Superintendent of Police from the Andhra Pradesh police department, chose to follow a different path. He decided to work in the profession of counselling after retirement.
Following his passion for the subject, he completed a Masters in Psychology. More than that, Babji is also the only one to have done PhD on the topic 'Exploratory study on occupational stress among the police officers and coping mechanism' in the Telugu States and third in the entire country.
After completing his education in the subject, he established a counselling centre named 'Prasanna Mind and Personality Counselling Centre' at Prakash Nagar in Rajamahendravaram, Andhra Pradesh.
At his counselling centre, he gets patients not only from the twin Godavari districts but also from other States including NRIs.
"I began my second innings with this clinic and became busy counselling my patients. Life should move on in a meaningful way," The New Indian Express quoted Babji.
Journey Of Becoming A Counsellor
Babji faced many hardships in his journey of becoming a counsellor.
When he was posted as a Circle Inspector in Vijayawada in 2010, he faced a tough time giving his MA Psychology exams. He was not granted any leave by his superior to prepare for his finals. But, Babji was determined to clear the exams. He took night duty and studied while performing his duties.
Recalling his struggles while completing his degree along with his job, Babji said that at times, he even used to sit at the ATM kiosks to complete the portions for the next day's exam.
Apart from completing a degree a counselling, he also did MA Philosophy and Economics through distance mode, while he was still in service.
Babji first appeared for the exams of the police department in 1979 but it was only after a decade, in 1989, that he qualified for the Sub-Inspector post. Till then, he served as a statistical officer at the Visakhapatnam Port Trust.
He faced many problems in his personal life as well. His wife died in a ghastly road accident within a month after his retirement, which pushed him into depression. But, his brother guided him that depression was not the state he deserved to be and helped him to get out of that state.
He also survived a fierce encounter with Maoists. During an encounter at Pedda Mallavaram near Annavaram in East Godavari district in 1991, he got shot with 13 bullets. He had to undergo 13 major surgeries despite which, eight bullets still remain in his body.
Babji says, "Never stop dreaming. Never stop believing. Never give up. Never stop trying. Never stop learning," and emphasises on these core values. He advises his patients not to try to 'please everyone'.
As an impact of his counselling work, around 32 people who made attempts to end their lives out of frustration for a variety of reasons are now living a happy life.
Babji feels that people working in the police department face a lot of psychological problems and their stress levels are very high due to pressure in their work life.
He suggests that appropriate reforms are required in the police department, and the government along with the police department, should come forward to work in this direction.
Upon invitation, Babji also addresses students in several colleges on mental health topics.
Babji suggests that the government should utilise the services of qualified psychologists to reduce the stress levels among students and police.
Till now, Babji has counselled nearly 600 persons suffering from various mental illnesses and symptoms. What's better? Babji does not charge any fees for providing the same services to the poor.
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