MUMBAI (CIC) – Sounds odd but a retired police officer, Chaman Lal was honoured with the 6th Nani Palkhivala Civil Liberties Award in Mumbai, 7 February 2011.
Seated by his side was the man he acknowledged as his mentor, Julio Ribeiro. In the course of the day’s meeting, it turned out that Lal had spent many years in Nagaland in the north-east and was recognized as a “friend of the North-East”. After the Emergency of 1975-77, he was OSD to the Shah Commission which inquired into the excesses during the Emergency.
In Punjab, he worked with Ribeiro but broke away from his successor, KPS Gill, as he did not agree with his methods. Post retirement, he has been working with the National Human Rights Commission for a nominal salary of Re 1 per year and has been working to help people in mental institutions. He gave away his prize money of Rs 1 lakh to two institutions right away on the dais today.
Obviously a rare human being and a rare police officer.
Shri Chaman Lal joined IPS on 30 June, 1964 in Madya Pradesh. Besides holding important posts at different ranks in his parent cadre, he has served on deputation BSF, ITBP, SPG. He was a member of Punjab police and Nagaland police.
After his retirement he has been working with the Swami Vivekananda Youth Movement. He was concerned about social causes and solutions. He says, if we want to fully understand the development in our country, we have to concentrate on Human Resource Index rather than GDP.
He explained how volunteer organizations work and the problems regarding them. The present condition of most of these voluntary organizations is not favorable because still they are following an approach that results in a lack of accountability and efficiency. Most of the NGOs are still dependent on grants from the other organization and they are not sustainable.
He says, our judgment about village people and their lacking of cleverness is wrong because we have to learn the indigenous practices, which will help us to deal with them more easily. He insists that the concepts of Leadership and Management are different but should complement each other; the leader should have managerial skills.