India Policemen told to slim down or lose job

13:41  10 july  2018
13:41  10 july  2018 Source:   bbc.com

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An Indian police force has told its officers to lose weight or face suspension from service.

The chief of Karnataka State Reserve Police (KSRP) told the BBC that he was worried about the increasing number of obese personnel in the force.

Bhaskar Rao added that he took the decision after more than 100 officers died in the last 18 months because of lifestyle-related illnesses.

The officers will be provided help to change their lifestyle and diet.

The KSRP, which has 14,000 personnel, is often called to provide security for big events, and also to control situations like riots and violent agitations.

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Police told AFP that officers had been given until June 30 to shape up and those deemed too fat from July 1 would not be given jobs in the field. “ Police officials are joining gyms, jogging and doing other exercise, including a lot of running to become thin and slim ,” Ghazanfar said.

Senior officers of the KSRP have been told to identify obese policemen, and put them on an exercise routine to help them lose weight.

"We started the process of monitoring their [KSRP officers'] sugar and other health indices six months ago. The latest circular that they will face suspension and removal from employment is a threat to those who who are careless [about their health]," Mr Rao told BBC Hindi's Qureshi.

It's not uncommon to see Indian policemen struggling with weight issues.

"In the last 18 months, 153 of our men have died. Out of these, 24 died in road accidents and nine killed themselves. The rest have died due to lifestyle-related diseases like cardiac problems and diabetes This is the biggest wake-up call that a force can get," Mr Rao added.

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The personnel are mostly provided "rice-based fried food".

"They eat rice-based food, smoke and later drink. In the absence of any outdoor activities like sports, they become lethargic and don't fit into their uniforms. So, platoon commanders [officers who have at least 25 men under their command] have been told to routinely monitor the body mass index (BMI) of every policeman," he said.

The KSRP has already started providing classes in swimming, yoga and other sports to their officers.

"Of course, their exercise regimen is conducted after medical examination and activities are decided on the doctor's advice," he said.

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(Video by Times of India)

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