City Pulse


June 10, 2014 By Team ICMYC
Nothing can stop men of perpetual perseverance and a living example of this is M. Sheriff. Standing at a stage where many retire from active public life, he has chosen to make a difference in community policing, an area in which his core interest lies.

A 92 year man takes frail, yet steady steps to a college. He finds a place that is both accessible as well as visible by most people and places the complaint box on the spot. This is a simple step he takes but a vision for community policing precedes this step. The box is for people to drop their complaints related to issues of crime and safety.  
M.Sheriff, a founder of Dedicated Servants of India, is an activist in community policing. He has witnessed the evolution of policing in India since independence. He has seen how police stations have increased in numbers, how police force has increased to correspond to the growth of the city and the way ratio is reducing between a police and a civilian, among many other developments.
He feels with the current police infrastructure, it is almost impossible to address issues of safety and security in the city. With the current capacity of 95 police stations and constant restructuring of police force, he provides an alternative to ensure high safety to a citizen in an urban set up.
Dedicated Servants of India, non-profit organization of like-minded people, aims to partner with the government to provide safety to the people of Bangalore. It has a distinction of providing a 1,20,000 volunteers to meet the shortage of the police force since the time it was founded. These regularly conduct Citizen Committee meetings that allow exchange of views between the members of the organization, police representatives and citizens. The organization proposes to select 300 people per station who will be selected by the police themselves.
Another novel initiative of M.Sheriff is to provide complaint boxes in certain police station limits that allow citizens to post their complaints, which otherwise might go unreported. Complaint boxes are placed in locations that can be accessed easily and by many. These locations can be hotels, STD booths or ATM booths or any other similar locations.
These boxes require minimal investment and such an investment is made by companies that pay for their names to be displayed on these boxes. These specifically serve to be a platform for benami complaints to get notice. The cost of this box is Rs.30 and the brand showcased on the box gets a credible advertisement as this is for a public cause.
An example displaying the success of a complaint box that acts as an effective interface, was seen when a complaint was dropped in the box on illegal gas cylinder vendor operating in Sharke apartments in Bangalore. After the police found the complaint, an action against this was taken and the accused was taken to task.
M.Sheriff has an undying commitment to bring in a fool-proof system of police citizen interface and nothing can stop him from doing this, not even his age.