The traffic police had obviously been in the jam for much longer than I was, braving the dust, smoke, frequent honking, and irritable drivers who often pointed at his ‘incompetency’ in managing the traffic.
I could see that he was tired, too, but he didn’t let his exhaustion affect his duty. While we were waiting for the jam to clear, he was the only one actually doing something to make that happen.
Seeing that man carry out his duty amidst so much chaos made me forget my frustration. I don’t remember when the vehicles finally moved ahead, but I do remember feeling sorry for and proud of that man at the same time—sorry because no one appreciated his efforts, and proud because he didn’t seem to care what people thought about him. He just relentlessly did his duty.
That particular traffic policeman represents thousands of professionals who brave pollution and all sorts of weather day and night to ensure road safety for drivers and pedestrians alike. Things don’t end here. The much talked about ‘ma.pa.se’ checking is yet another highly appreciable duty that the men and women in blue uniform have been conducting with utmost accountability. Since not all officers are equipped with breathalyzers, imagine having to actually ‘smell’ people’s breaths to determine whether they are driving under influence or not. And we all know not all people smell ‘good.’
Despite all these ‘odd’ tasks that they are required to do on a daily basis, I have only heard negative comments about them from people. Like every other profession, there are good and bad officers in the traffic police, too. Developing a negative mindset about the entire profession on the basis of misconducts by couple of officers isn’t just, is it?
I personally have immense respect and gratitude for all traffic police officers, because believe it or not, they are ensuring our safety every day without even letting us realize a bit. I salute these change makers, who do so much and don’t even get the appreciation that they truly deserve.
Shraddha is an undergraduate student of Business Administration at Prime College in Khusibun, Kathmandu.