For 20-year-old Jagan of Kannagi Nagar, the future looked bleak. With no formal education and little or no prospects of finding a job, he was a fit candidate for a life of crime.
Not anymore. He has been shortlisted by the police for free driving classes so he can get employed by a call-taxi aggregator.
Kannagi Nagar has always had a high crime rate.
Now the police claim a near 80% reduction in the crime rate. “Once the circulation of ganja is curbed, the locality will become clean,” said a police officer.
A few days ago, the police arranged free driving lessons, in association with a corporate and a driving school, for women and girls of the locality to enhance their employability. The police will also help with driving licences. Over 30 women enrolled for the programme. “These women have no connection with crime; it is more of a social outreach programme by the police to help them with their livelihood,”an official said.
“We have been seeing many unemployed youngsters between the ages of 18 and 25 loitering around the locality. They can easily be lured into crime. Hence we thought of imparting driving lessons for them too. Besides, we will train them in soft skills too,” said Sashank Sai, deputy commissioner of police, Adyar.
Unemployed youngsters in the locality are being shotlisted.
A teacher from a high school in Kannagi Nagar was all praise for the scheme.
“Once they get a licence, they can get a bank loan and purchase a car. The new generation will abstain from crime,” the teacher said.
N. Sivakumar, inspector, law and order, Kannagi Nagar police station, pointed out that the locality is producing many sportspersons.
“The Kannagi team, comprising boys and girls, got a scholarship from a private engineering college in the locality and they are studying there. They have participated in national-level tournaments,” he also added.