Walk a few steps into West Delhi's Mayapuri police station, and you will realise why I want you to hear this story. Among 150 sub-inspectors from the 1990 batch of Delhi Police who graduated from the Police Training College is a man whose initiatives won Mayapuri the best police station award.
Inspector Raman Lamba, Station House Officer of Mayapuri police station, is what we wish our 'friendly neighbourhood cop' would be. Lamba's initiatives at the police station impressed all the senior police officers who earlier this year visited the police station for an inspection to choose the best police station. His initiatives are now being copied by several police officers across the capital.
Step inside and you will not fail to spot the words 'Hotline to the SHO' written in bold above a mobile phone with a headphone permanently stuck to the wall, near the women's helpdesk. Push the button near the mobile phone and you get directly connected to Lamba. "Women should feel comfortable at the police station when they come to register a complaint. Even if I am not there, they can talk directly to me by just pressing this button. The phone can only make a call to my cellphone and is frequently used by women complainants who think I should hear their case personally. Even if I am not at the police station, whenever this cellphone rings, I know there is a complainant wanting to talk to me," he says.
Thousands of labourers who work in the Mayapuri industrial area live in the slums, and their children often go missing. Lamba has found a simple way to ensure none of the missing children remain untraced. Earlier this year, all children below 15 years living in the slums were asked to come to the police station and their photographs were saved in police records along with their names and other details. Experience has taught Lamba that when slum children go missing, the biggest hindrance in tracing them is the absence of a photograph. The police station now has a record of 463 children. "If any child goes missing from the slums, we will not have to depend on the parents to provide us the details. Tracing them will never be a problem," Lamba says.