CHHATTISGARH: The All of the Covid-19 pandemic and subsequent lockdowns prompted a senior IPS officer to inspire people, especially the youth, to channelise their energy to adjust to the new normal. Ratanlal Dangi, the 2003-batch IPS officer, took to yoga to first keep himself stress-free and then help others. What began as a small beginning caught the attention of many to focus on health and make life better during the pandemic. It has now turned into a routine engagement for thousands inspired by the IPS officer, who is currently the Bilaspur range Inspector General of Police.
“During the peak of the pandemic-induced lockdown, everything came to a standstill, impacting children, youths and families and leading to domestic tensions and frustration. They needed to be guided by self-awareness and I tried to engage them through yoga sessions, ”says Dangi. The police officer performs various forms of asanas and uploads their videos daily via his social media accounts. His every post carries inspiring quotes.
His yoga session begins at 5.30 am daily and continues for a couple of hours. He says he has been flooded with feedback from police personnel and others from diverse backgrounds. “Today’s generation needs to be aware of their health and life-style. Youths look for shortcuts to achieve their goal. Hard work has no alternative, but smart action is needed when it comes to maintaining good health, ”he says.“ Ever since I took to yoga, I have had fewer negative feelings, ”says Dinanath Das from Haridwar in his response to Dangi’s twitter handle.
There are police personnel who have reported good results in treatment of various ailments aggravated by stress. “Ulcer and recurring colds were a real irritation to me until I found ways for a healthy lifestyle,” said Rakesh Jaiswal from Jharkhand. “When a busy officer finds time to enhance good health and happiness, why can’t others follow him,” asks Prof Shahid Ali.
The IPS officer is investing his personal time between 5:30 to 8 am. “I am not a yoga guru. Strictly speaking, I’m not promoting yoga but using it as a potent medium to popularize good health and way of living through yoga, “says the officer. Dangi says it is wrong to associate yoga with any particular faith or religion. “Everybody needs physical fitness irrespective of their belief, class, color, creed or religion. Yoga should not be confused as part of any doctrine or theology, ”he says.
The officer has not received any formal yoga training. “Through experiences and practice I have learned a bit of yoga. Anyway, I do not need to be a certified instructor to spread wisdom for the benefit of mankind, ”he said.The health appeal that he has launched has crossed the national frontiers. Many followers access his health mantra from countries like Oman, Qatar, the UAE and Bahrain besides neighboring countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Nepal.
In the process, yoga has emerged as a good communication link with the people whose perception about police officers has changed. Interestingly, Dangi has secured a communication channel for receiving direct feedback from the people about policing, grievances and law & order on his social media platforms.