Jyotsna Kalra is Safecity’s Program and Outreach Officer in Delhi and a Lawyer in the making. She has aspirations and dreams for a better world with better lives for all. Showing deviance, she would personally prefer to go towards this journey of change not through the legal structures but on ground work. Due to scenarios in her childhood, Jyotsna is more driven towards and passionate about gender issues.
Education through Door-to-Door Campaigning
At Safecity, we have always tried to build a smooth bridge of communication and understanding between the stakeholders and the community. In a similar attempt, we conducted a door-to-door campaign with the active involvement of the youth of Dakshinpuri and our interns.
The door-to-door campaign revolved around gathering information regarding how the people of the community felt about their nearest police station, how they perceived it and how comfortable they were with the process of filing an FIR, which completely depends on the trust and relationship formed between the community members and the protection officers over the years.
To achieve the same, we initiated conversations asking people if they knew what an FIR is and the process of filing the same. Our conversations brought to light that they knew the police helpline number -100 and also that it could now be filed online. However, most of them were not aware of the descriptive procedure of filing an FIR along with their rights. In the cases when they were unaware, we took two minutes of their time, explaining them the procedure which was then followed by circulating a leaflet we had prepared on what an FIR is. We also asked them other very basic questions of significance like, “Do you know who the SHO (Station House Officer) is and are you aware where your nearby police station is?”
We were able to cover more than a hundred houses. Since the campaign was conducted during the day, our recipients were mostly women with few men at the various shops we visited during our campaign. We received mixed reactions. On one hand, people were grateful that we educated them about something as important as filing an FIR while on the other, we also faced resistance where people were hesitant in talking about it.
From the feedback we received we learned that a few of them were unhappy with the way their nearby police station operated. A man told us, “You are doing good work, but things are easier said than done. When we go to the police station the procedures you’ve told us about are not properly implemented”.
I personally feel that the entry into our judicial system is firstly through the police through the act of filing an FIR. To ensure that justice is served it is very important that there exists transparency along with a level of understanding and open conversation between the common people and the police. It should be a hassle-free environment so that people do not fear or hesitate in visiting a police station to file their complaints.