Be it police station or field, Jiya is happy to be with her cop mom

While many kids her age are inside the safety of their own homes, with their parents to look after their needs during the lockdown, 14month-old Jiya’s little life has been divided between home and the police station, her second home at the moment. If that’s not all, she gets to meet only one of the parents in a day. This is an extreme instance of the difficulties faced by nuclear families, particularly that of working couples with a baby. The story of this warrior police couple will be incomplete if the tenacity shown by their toddler, baby Jiya, who is helping her parents do their duty with equal determination, is not elucidated. Jiya’s parents are police constables deputed on Covid duties with other police personnel. However, though in Kutch’s Bhuj town, Alka Desai and Gautam Naroda have been deputed at separate places on duty. The college friends from Patan had joined the police force after their marriage and got posted in Bhuj. With nobody at home to take care of their baby, Desai, posted in the Mahila police station of Bhuj, carries Jiya along with her to the police station and need be, to the field too. A doting mother, Desai doesn’t want to compromise on her motherhood duties, nor is she a shirker, especially now when the police force needs more hands in the field. Therefore, she hasn’t even asked anyone for desk duty and trying to balance the two extreme demands. Talking to TOI Desai said, “We both have a tough duty in this critical situation, especially during long bandobust duty hours. The superiors understand my problem but I am in force and for every uniform, duty comes first. Sometimes I get frightened that my daughter may get infected if she moves out with me but I don’t have any option.” As Naroda too is posted in the superintendent’s office, police station has become Jiya’s crèche when her mother is assigned office work. “Even couples in white-collar jobs raise children, but it becomes difficult when both parents are from the force. We both are managing tough duties by taking alternate shifts whenever possible,” said Naroda. Talking to TOI, superintendent of police Kutch (west), Saurabh Tolambia said: “We have a child corner for the children of policemen in the headquarters and also in Mundra police station. We allot duties on rotation, including field, police station and other places. In the case of constable Alka, we have shifted her to police station duty for the safety of her baby.”