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Three cheers for "Parivartan''

Ashok Kumar

A pioneering effort that has won acclaim from India and abroad

NEW DELHI: Within a span of 18 months, "Parivartan'' -- an innovative programme of the Delhi police aimed at fighting violence against women through community participation -- has accomplished much more than its stated objectives.

A pioneering effort of the police to introduce women beat constables to check violence against women, it has surpassed the expectations of even those behind it and won it acclaim from India and abroad.

A year after it was introduced, the programme was awarded the prestigious Webber Seavey Award-2006 by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Later it won appreciation from the Gender Institute of the London School of Economics and Political Science. And recently some students from a university in the United States decided to study the programme as part of their research on comparative analysis of the fight against domestic violence in the U.S. and India.

Law students of Loyola University enrolled for a course on "Comparative Law: India'' learnt about "Parivartan'' through the Internet and approached the North West Delhi police officers to study the programme.

"The students interacted with women beat constables, saw pantomime shows and street plays and inquired about the programme and its methodology and impact,'' said Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police (North West) Sagar Preet Hooda, one of the key figures behind the project.

Impressed by the quantum of energy and commitment invested in the effort, the students conceded that even the US police would not have been able to implement the programme so successfully.

Dr. Hooda said he always knew that the concept was good and would work.

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