Youth with Special Needs becomes Ashok Nagar Sub Inspector for a day
On 18th of August 2017, the R3 Police Station in Ashok Nagar welcomed its youngest Sub Inspector ever, when Stevin Mathew walked into the station to the salutes of the other police officials on duty.
Stevin is the grandson of Dr. Christopher Thomas and his wife Thankamma Thomas who are residents of Vasudevan Nagar in Jafferkhanpet, Ashok Nagar . Being a differently abled youth with Down’s Syndrome has not dampened Stevin’s ambition of being a police officer. Having been influenced by all the good gestures that his favourite movie stars perform in the role of police officers, Stevin has constantly wanted to become a police officer himself, something he regularly reminded his parents Dr. Rajeev Thomas and Dr. Ciby Mathew who reside and work abroad in Qatar together with Stevin and his youngest brother Ashwin. Stevin also has a younger brother Nitin who is a student in a Chennai based school.
During a recent visit to India on vacation Stevin’s father Dr. Rajeev contacted the Commissioner of Police Dr. A.K. Vishwanathan informing him of Stevin’s passion about becoming a police officer in spite of his disabilities. In response the Commissioner and his team including Deputy Commissioner P. Aravindan, Assistant Commissioner of Police Vincent Jayaraj and Ashok Nagar Police Station Inspector Suriyalingam arranged a special permission for Stevin to be part of the Tamil Nadu Police for a day. They interacted closely with Stevin and his parents over a few days and met him to understand his unique needs. They also stitched a uniform for him to wear to duty.
On 18 August Stevin reached the station at 5 pm and was received by the officers on duty. Inspector Suriyalingam inducted Stevin to the different duties of the police. Stevin was made a Sub Inspector for a couple of hours during which he was made to use the radio communication system, walkie talkie, telephone, registers. As the S.I. Stevin was also given two constables and a driver to accompany him on a round of the Ashok Nagar areas on the police vehicle.
Stevin was also presented with a bouquet of flowers, a special police memento and distributed sweets and posed for photos and selfies with the police officers. He ended his duty with a guard of honour.
Speaking about the occasion Dr. Rajeev Thomas, father of Stevin who founded HOPE Qatar – a center for children with special needs in Doha – Qatar, where Stevin has completed a Diploma in Computer Applications said that through this gesture the Tamil Nadu Police had gone out of their way to accommodate a request from a differently abled youth, thereby displaying highly appreciable levels of humanity. This event also goes to demonstrate that individuals with special needs can achieve great success in life if they are given the right opportunities at the right time. He has established the Village of HOPE Foundation for the differently abled in Chennai – a foundation that aims to develop a self contained residential village for individuals with disabilities. More information about this foundation can be found at www.VillageOfHope.org.in
“We made a boy with Down syndrome an SI for an hour” commissioner Viswanthan said. I would like to put a smile on the face of every petitioner at a police station in the city”