CRPF : Promoting peace and harmony through sports

Rakesh Kumar Singh *

Nagaland Police - Winners of the 6th All India Police Badminton Championship on June 05 2013
Nagaland Police - Winners of the 6th All India Police Badminton Championship on June 05 2013 :: Pix - Hueiyen Lanpao

The 6th All India Police Badminton games are being organised by Manipur Police from 4th to 7th June 2013. It adds another jewel in the glorious sports culture of Manipur. The sports persons from the state have been dominating the national and international games scenario since long. Individual achievements of Manipuri boxers, body builders, weight-lifters and hockey players had already been widely acclaimed. Now the state is organising many such national sporting events in state which will also boost tourism and spread the message of peace across the nation.

CRPF is also participating in almost all events conducted by All India Police games and it has always promoted sports in the organisation. Wherever CRPF has been deployed the troops organise various sports activities. Sports have always been an integral part of all the uniform services, because it encourages team-spirit, cooperation and competence which are core values of police organisations.

It has always been considered that sports provide an opportunity to the individuals to grow physically and mentally as well as strengthen them to deal with pressure and stress in the profession. Sports are like worship in CRPF and sports persons are widely respected. The range of games played in all India Police reflects the emphasis of leadership in promoting games and extent of interest of the Force personnel.

In CRPF, sports activities are considered part of sub-culture of organisation in order to build up physical fitness, stamina and agility. In physical training sports are included to make the endurance and alertness more interesting. The drills have been evolved on such a pattern that the activities are not only competitive in nature but also they are satisfying and relaxing. Sporting events are like festivals of friendship and goodwill. It survives against all odds and that’s why even in hostile atmosphere CRPF arranges a lots of sports activities with locals to promote peace and harmony.

On the leadership front, sporting activities inculcates confidence, ability to tackle challenges and maintaining calm even in adverse situations like a true professional. It teaches the art of living by balancing and synchronising thoughts, feelings and actions. Sports teach us that it is hard work, sincerity and determination which bring success and laurels. There is no short cut to success. Medals are something which glitter more than any metal even gold or platinum and dreamed by all and sundry and the powerful equally.

The glorious tradition of sports in CRPF goes back to the inception of All India Police. CRPF participated in 1951 for the first time in athletics and remained champions in this game for 20 times and secured second and third positions several times. It has been winning the championships in many other games. CRPF wrestler participated in All India Police as early as in 1953 and won in 1975 and 1977. CRPF Aquatic team claimed championship in 1977. CRPF Volley ball team won All India Police championship during 1981 and 1982.

Gurbachan Singh Randhawa who was awarded Arjuna Puraskar in 1961, won a Gold medal in Decathlon at Jakarta Asian games. He was also awarded Padmashri. He led the sports glory of the Force and since then the CRPF has excelled in all games. As of now, 14 Arjuna Awardees players had been part of CRPF sports.

A few prominent among them are Harichand, Khayam Singh, N. Kunjarani Devi, Khazan Singh, Kh. Tombi Devi, A. Anita Chanu, Sanamacha Chanu. Recently Ms W. Sandhyarani got Arjuna Award for Wushu (2011). Till now, the CRPF sports personnel have been decorated with two Padamshri, one Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and 14 Arjuna Awards.

The CRPF is having large set up of approximately one thousand sports personnel of national and international repute. CRPF Mahilas have done incredible job in sports and most of them are from Manipur. The women team was raised in 1986 after the Force inducted women cadres in the first Female battalion of a Para-military. They started participating in All India Police games from 1987 and secured third place in 1988.

A few famous women athletes in CRPF were – Rigzen Angmo, Shija Mol, Gita Krishan etc. CRPF women’s swimming team was formed in 1997 and Richa Mishra was declared best swimmer in 1999 and awarded Rajiv Gandhi khel Ratna. CRPF Women have weight lifting, judo, shooting, swimming etc teams and these women have been inspiring the women across the society to be participative in games. At many instances women have been inspired by their achievements and ameliorated their life.

CRPF also participates in other All India Police activities which are taken sportingly though of professional consequence, like signal and cryptography competition (now discontinued), first aid competition, motor transport duty meet and adventure sports etc have added to the capability and competence of the force.

Recently CRPF also formed Mahila Band team. CRPF had won All India Police Band competitions many a times. CRPF had been training band personnel of other Forces too. The endeavour for achieving success never ended in the Force and it is continuously seeking excellence and professionalism in the field of sports.

The competencies like physical fitness and mental alertness developed through sports helped CRPF in combating terror of militancy and naxalism as well as inculcating the spirit of camaraderie and discipline. This professional strength helps them to spread the message of peace and harmony in conflict zone.

* Rakesh Kumar Singh wrote this article for The Sangai Express
The writer is Commandant 69 BN CRPF at Mantripukhri, Imphal and views expressed are his personal. He can be accessed at rksingh47(at)gmail(dot)com
This article was posted on June 22, 2013.

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