Chennai: A well-maintained badminton court is the least thing you expect to see at a police station. Inaugurated a few months ago, the well-being centre at J7 Velacheri station is the one and only such facility in the whole of Tamilnadu police department.
Recently, the station under went a major renovation, and the badminton court was later built with sponsorship and opened by city Commissioner of police A K Viswanathan.
On the inaugural day, the Commissioner, Additional Commissioner Mahesh Aggarwal and Deputy Commissioner Shashank Sai impressed everyone by swinging the racket.
The badminton court was the brainchild of former Inspector of Police Velu, who is now posted with Central Crime Branch. It was constructed at a cost of Rs 13 lakh, and the funds were sponsored by a few corporate companies and an educational institution.
Speaking to News Today, Velu said, “The facility is used by policemen and their families, retired personnel and police officers living in the area.”
He said that he pitched in the idea as he is a passionate sportsman. “I am a national-level athlete and play all kinds of sports. Policemen are often stressed out and this will provide them relief. Also I had in mind to influence children under 14 in the area in a good way. Many are under the influence of tobacco, and I thought that policemen could coach such kids in badminton. This will also improve police-public liaison. People must not fear coming to the police station. The Commissioner was happy with the initiative and has asked everyone to use the facility well.”
The station has 46 staff, of which five are women. They too play the game whenever time permits. A police personnel at the station said, “I played cricket in college. Now after 15 years, I have started playing and working out again.”
Most of the policemen change into civvies and play for about 15 minutes to an hour daily before calling it a day.