Thirty-seven State Police Service officers attending the IPS induction training course at the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy, Hyderabad, recently received a warm welcome when they visited a ‘kuttipallikoodam’ (mini school) at Kongamarathinmoodu, a tribal settlement inside the Kallar forests in the district.

The police officers who were visiting the State capital to know about the Kerala Police as part of a study-cum-cultural tour were accompanied to the kuttipallikoodam by student police cadets (SPCs) of Government Vocational and Higher Secondary School, Vithura, their teachers, and police officials.

The kuttipallikoodam has come up in the settlement, courtesy the SPC project at the school and the Janamaithri police station at Vithura. At the settlement, residents, including tribal children, thronged the kuttipallikoodam to greet the visitors and serve them their indigenous food and perform a dance similar to kolkali for them.

Sreebala P.S., an SPC cadet who is a class 10 student, said the cadets were a bit nervous about meeting the IPS officers who, they assumed, would have a serious demeanour. However, the IPS officers were very friendly and interacted with each cadet, says an excited Sreebala. “They recounted the advantages they had in life, unlike children in tribal settlements who had no television or Internet connection to help them study. They appreciated the role played by the SPC in the education of tribal children through setting up of the kuttipallikoodams.”

The visitors also contributed a laptop for teaching information technology in the kuttipallikoodams. The Vithura school has set up four kuttipallikoodams in their grama panchayat, while one kuttipallikoodam has come up in Tholicode panchayat. The kuttipallikoodams were an important initiative taken up by the SPC during COVID-19 to provide academic support to tribal children. These continue to function with the support of the police, teachers, and the cadets with the aim of providing training to students in the tribal settlements so that they can be nurtured into professionals by 2030.

SPC additional State nodal officer K. Mohammed Shafi, district Additional Superintendent of Police E.S. Bijumon, Nedumangad Dy.SP Sulfikar, Vithura station house officer S. Sreejith and sub-inspector Vinodkumar, community police officers K. Anvar and Priya I.V. Nair, Vithura school PTA president A. Surendran, and chief of the tribal settlement Madhavan Kani were present.

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