New Delhi: With its troops deployed away from their families, the CRPF has directed its field offices to set up 24×7 helplines, backed by quick reaction teams (QRTs), to assist their spouses and old parents in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
The 23 sectors of the force have been asked to establish and publicise a standalone landline connection and a WhatsApp-enabled mobile number to be manned round-the-clock by a sub-officer.
“Keeping in view the prevailing emergency in the country in view of COVID-19, the DG (force chief) has directed that we should proactively look after and take care of the families of our officials who are staying away from their spouses.
“All systems should be put in place to respond to emergent needs of the family members to keep our officers and troops stress-free and assure them of the welfare of their families while they are deployed in difficult locations away from home,” a latest communication from the CRPF headquarters here said.
The directive, accessed by PTI, said a 24×7 helpline comprising a landline and a WhatsApp-enabled mobile phone should be established at all sector headquarters and group centres of the force in the country.
A senior official said directions were issued to take special care of those families where the spouse is alone with the responsibility of children and those where old parents are living alone.
A sector head office of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) looks after the deployment of troops in two or more states.
The helplines will be armed with all the guidelines issued by the government to deal with the coronavirus pandemic, details of the nodal officers of the government in the area and location of the nearest hospitals, quarantine and test centres.
In case of an emergency, the QRT should respond by visiting the premises of the family concerned, the directive said.
The force has directed that all its 43 group centres that have administrative control over six-seven battalions comprising about 8,000 personnel should also establish such helplines and publicise them amongst the personnel and their families.
Supervisory officers in the ranks of Deputy Inspector General (DIG) and Inspector General (IG) have been asked to review the call log books of such cases and in special cases, seek directions from the Delhi headquarters to extend relief and help.
The about 3.25 personnel-strong force is the designated national internal security force and the mainstay for anti-Naxal operations, counter-terrorist combat in the Kashmir valley and anti-insurgency tasks in the north-eastern states.