Noklak District Police has been conferred the SKOCH Gold Award in Police & Safety for fighting drugs/insurgency with education and livelihood. The Award was received by Khumeng, Noklak Police and its former superintendent, Dr Pritpal Kaur Batra, IPS under whose leadership the various life changing programs were initiated in the young district on the Indo-Myanmar border.
SKOCH Award ceremony was held on 27 May 2023in New Delhi. The Award recognizes people, projects and institutions that go the extra mile to make India a better nation. It is considered the highest civilian honour in the country conferred by an independent organisation.
Speaking to Nagaland Tribune, Dr Pritpal Kaur Batra briefly highlighted some contributions made by the police force through its initiatives such as the ‘Taste of Noklak Society’ (TONS) which is aimed at empowering farmers, drop out students and drug victims in a positive way. Founded in 2018 by Dr Batra, TONS trains various skills to a group of men and women so that they can train the next group, thereby creating a chain of livelihood. “Every society or SHG should teach another society to rise together as whole district,” she had said in September last year.
Led by the motto ‘Fighting drugs with livelihood’, Dr Batra informed that 480 drugs users were taught livelihood activities in collaboration with Noklak ITEC and Police Church. “Many victims have come out with positive attitude looking at newer perspectives of life and are engaged in livelihood activities like carpentry, mechanical works and farming in carpentry, mechanical works and farming,” the former SP added. Many Drug users were also assisted in controlling their intake of the substance by accessing Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST).
Under her leadership, machines like cooking cum drying machine, oil extracting machine and other low-cost machines for farmers were developed by local innovators. When Tumong and Khumeng launched their Electric bike/ bicycle (Wheels of Naga or WON) in November 2022, she said, “If guns can be made, why not the legal things”, she said.
SKOCH Award also recognized the Noklak Police’s initiation in providing NPSC and UPSC coaching to the aspirants, installing of Computer lab last year in June at Government Higher Secondary School Noklak in collaboration with Karnataka Mindtree Foundation and also providing telescope and microscope for the science museum department of the school.
Dr Pritpal launched the Khiamniungan Women Weaving Cooperative Society: Noklak Mother’s Love on 9 September 2022 that makes sanitary pads, jewellery traditional attires and gears. It was earlier established in 2021 by Noklak Police and National Innovation Foundation.
She also launched the Noklak Masterpieces with the motto ‘Fighting drugs and unemployment with livelihood’. NM are homegrown, handmade and hand-crafted products made by the natives of the area from raw materials found in its rich land. Its products include kitchen ware, traditional cloths, Elloi Niu (stinging nettle) products, headgears, machete, jewellery, earthenware, cane products, pottery, etc.
Dr Pritpal Kaur Batra was transferred to Longleng in November 2022 and has begun her mission to make positive changes in the locals’ lives. Coaching classes for graduates have been initiated and so has farming trainings.
P Khumeng, Noklak Police, who also accompanied Dr Batra to receive the award on behalf of Noklak District Police said that he assisted in creating the electric bike and in the establishment of a new unit of Noklak Police. Expressing that the SKOCH Gold Award has brought glory to the district and the Khiamniungan tribe at the national level, Khumeng lauded the former Noklak SP for her service and sacrifices for the region.
“We participated in all the programs of SP madam like drug rehab, farming livelihood, coaching classes, school science museum, computer lab, library, sanitary pads unit, livelihood for school drop outs,” he stated.
“The Taste of Noklak Society is teaching other villages regularly, while Tumong and team ‘WON’ are still making more machines.” Khumeng said, adding that that they have further made three new and different machines.
Nagaland Director General of Police, Rupin Sharma, IPS, in his message on Noklak District Police being conferred the SKOCH Gold Award said, “It is a proud moment for Nagaland Police but more of a person driven initiative. It shows that there is immense scope of taking initiatives and delivery.”