“Like you, we police personnel also have families and we handle dual responsibilities. Therefore, become a responsible citizen and help police and administration. Stay at home…,” posted a twitter user @uppcopak (Alka) on 1st April in Hindi.
The tweet accompanied with two photographs – one in which she was making parantha in the kitchen and the other where she’s donning a police uniform – has gone viral on social media.
This tweet from a lady sub-inspector – Alka Verma – who is posted in eastern Uttar Pradesh’s Maharajganj district got over 18,000 likes and 2,900 retweets by Sunday. Maharajganj, which shares its borders with Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath's turf Gorakhpur, is part of the underdeveloped eastern Uttar Pradesh.
Verma has joined Twitter last October only but most of her fame has come during the past one week when her follower count jumped from a few hundreds to 12,000.
Most of her seniors and even top Indian Police Service officers of UP don’t usually get such massive response, in such a short time.
Aren’t your colleagues and seniors jealous of you since you are more popular than them now? “No, not at all. The police personnel are not like that,” she laughs.
Her simple tweets in which she urges people to stay at home by citing the challenges of the police force especially the women cops have struck a chord among social media users.
For instance, her April 4 post which merely states, “Stay safe at home, we are guarding the roads…. All those who roam on roads on some or other pretence, are not cheating themselves but risking lives of their kin as well,” got more than 20,000 likes, 3,200 retweets and massive public engagement.
Verma says, “I seek to change the way people think by telling them the same thing differently. If helps, then good.”
The social media platforms, such as microblogging site Twitter, have become all more important and relevant since March 24 when pan-India lockdown was announced in order to curb the spread of the deadly COVID-19 which has killed more than 62,000 people and infected over 11 lakh people across the world by now.
Verma, who who hails from Kanpur, has been posted in Maharajganj since February 23, 2020.
But to ensure that everyone follows the stipulated norms of lockdown, which primarily involves keeping the citizens inside their homes to contain the community spread and cutting down non-essential activities, is a daunting task for law enforcement agencies.
From singing to video messages to appeal on loudspeakers, senior police officers are adopting various means to ensure the lockdown. Ms Verma has chosen twitter albeit on her own.
Verma, whose Sunday tweet about carrying chapatis to feed the stray animal got huge response from animal lovers, explains, “I realised the importance of this platform as all senior police officers were already there.”