Bhopal: Police band has always been the prime attraction of Independence Day parade in state. However, the band that enthrals the audience by its performance has a different story to tell from inside.
The band personnel, who have come to Bhopal from different districts to take part in the 75th Independence Day parade, are staying in a barrack like structure which lacks even basic facilities.
These cops wake up early in morning for rehearsal and claim that they lack sufficient sleep in barrack given shabby conditions all around.
One of the band personnel on condition of anonymity said, "The police band culture in the state is facing department's apathy."
"From outside our job may look glamorous as we wear shining uniform to perform but we hardly get any facility from the department worth mentioning to keep ourselves motivated and give our best."
A few band personnel spoke at length while sitting in their barrack. They have come from Sagar, Indore and Gwalior districts to take part in the Independence Day celebrations.
As per the band personnel there used to be 150 trained personnel in the police band before the state of Chhattisgarh was carved out of Madhya Pradesh.
Police department's failure to nurture the British era practice of band was evident from the fact that MP police band was ranked as low as 20th spot in All India band competitions held annually. Around 25 bands participate in these competitions, said an official wishing not to be quoted.
Band personnel claimed that they were also deployed in other assignments of police duty and got little time for practice.
“We have ensured their stay in barracks as it is a temporary arrangement. They get all facilities in their home districts. We are working on improving the performance of police band so that they perform better in any national level championship,” said Milind Kanaskar Sai, ADG-SAF
Retired ASP Albert Paul said, “We had glorious days as in 2003, we got number 1 position in playing bigul, a musical instrument, in an all India competition. However, things have changed. I sent a proposal for advanced instruments for the band. But the officials seemed least interested in strengthening the band culture.”
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