Internet’s Latest Crush, IPS Sachin Atulkar, Chats With Us About His Life In & Beyond Khaki
- IWB Post
- August 11, 2017
Just a few days ago, when I came across the latest ‘Internet Crush’ Sachin Atulkar, an IPS Officer from M.P., I, too, couldn’t stop gushing over him. After all, there’s something about men in uniform, right?
I knew there was more to Sachin’s story than just his chiseled looks and sculpted physique. That’s when I decided to give the Internet more reasons to love him than just his appearance. And, boy was I right!
Brought up in a family where his father was in the Forest Department and his brother went into Navy, Sachin grew up with the aspiration of serving the nation. A national level cricket player, Sachin is a sportsman by heart. However, in college itself, he dedicated his time to the preparations for the UPSC examinations.
Deemed as one of the toughest exams, over 5 lakh people from across the country appear for the UPSC. Sachin was just 22 when he cracked the exam and that too in his first attempt, which is highly unlikely. When I ask him about the same, he affirms, “When something is tough and challenging, it automatically motivates me to do it! I had left no stone unturned in my preparations as I was determined to crack it in the first attempt.”
“So you weren’t surprised when the results came out?” I question to which he laughs and says, “No, of course, you cannot be 100% sure of the result. So, I was indeed very happy. In fact, my parents were the ones who were shocked. They had never forced me to study and were not updated about my preparations. So, it came as a pleasant surprise for them.”
From a boy who cracked UPSC at 22 to SP Ujjain (M.P.), Sachin’s journey so far serves as a motivation to the youth of the country. In service for over 10 years now, Sachin has been changing the perception of the Police in India for the better.
First posted in Balaghat, an identified Naxal-affected area in Madhya Pradesh, Sachin became the longest serving SP in the city’s history. Recalling his 3-year tenure in Balaghat, Sachin tells me, “Usually, we are transferred after 1 and a half years and most officers don’t want to be stationed in Balaghat due to the frequent Naxal attacks. However, after the completion of my initial tenure, I requested an extension of another 1 year. We conducted various Anti-Naxal Operations successfully and it was not just because of my team but also because of the support of the community, as a whole.”
“No single Naxal attack on police took place in those 3 years and only because we were connected with the general public of the city who supported and trusted us,” he adds.
After Balaghat, Sachin then took office as SP in Sagar, MP, home district to the Home Minister of MP. Again a sensitive area with a high crime rate, Sachin brought together a determined team that worked to prevail civil peace.
In Sagar, too, Sachin became the longest-serving SP and completed his three-and-a-half years before getting transferred to Ujjain, MP.
A curious fact: On his farewell day in Sagar, the whole city was jammed to catch a glimpse of the star cop. Excerpts from a chat:
Your recent post on your FB page is an urge to the people to look beyond the physical appearance of a person. So, what should they crush on beyond your looks?
I have always striven to connect with the people in whatever way they want with one sole mission to motivate them. I understand that they seek heroism in Police officers that they see in the films. I am never averse to that because so many youngsters have come up to me and said that they were motivated to become fit and healthy. So many parents approach me and tell me that their kids are highly inspired by me and want to join IPS.
However, the only issue is that some people are only highlighting my physical appearance. I take pride in my uniform and it should be given the respect that it deserves. One should talk about the deeds, too, so that the youth can be inspired to pursue a career in IPS and other Government areas to build a progressive nation.
Well said! So, tell us about the first case you handled.
My first case was a newly-married woman who had committed suicide after being harassed for dowry. I was then a Probationary officer in Morena, MP.
And, the most challenging one that you handled?
It was the case of the rape of a minor girl in Sagar. The minor was going somewhere with her younger sister, early in the morning, around 4:30-5:00 am when she was abducted by a man on a bike and was raped. There were no eyewitnesses or any clue and so, it was difficult to find the culprit. Only after a rigorous investigation for 6 months, we could catch him and he’s now serving lifetime imprisonment.
The Government has been giving out ultimatums to the Police officers to adhere to the set of physical fitness parameters. As one of the fittest cops in the country, how do you motivate the ones within your own sector to be physically fit and healthy?
*smiles* Be it in Balghat or in Sagra, I have set-up many gymnasiums, especially, for the police personnel and I intend to do the same in Ujjain. I myself look into the fitness of my team and ensure their regular health checkups, maintain their health charts, etc.
There are so many better-looking men than me in the country and so many other hard-working police officers. However, I believe that the people are impressed by my fitness. No matter how honest, hardworking, or capable an officer you are, if you are not physically fit, you won’t have that impact on the public. See, bodybuilding is my passion and hobby, but I strive for fitness and health. During our training period, you’ll observe that all the officers are fit and healthy, however, be it the pressure of the work or the sloppy eating habits, they become physically unfit and that’s not acceptable for a person who is dedicated to protecting the public. My question is, why do you forget what you were taught during training? Why can’t you take out just an hour from your day for your health and fitness?
There are so many stereotypes around the Police. How does your team fight it to build a more competent and trustworthy relationship with the public?
You can’t change everything overnight. It happens gradually with continuous efforts. First, we need to keep ourselves in check and build trust. For that, we need to give enough reasons to the public to trust us. Connecting with them, being approachable, being vigilant, and giving a proper response to their problems is what will bring about a positive change in the mindset of the people towards police force.
You have recently taken up your office in Ujjain. How do you plan to decrease the crime rate, especially crimes against women and children?
Not just Ujjain, but women and children security are foremost priorities of the entire MP police. So many different drives are being conducted to ensure protection and safety of women. We have women cells, women-only police stations, counseling units, women helpline number, and other such fully functional initiatives. Also, we have 100% registration of crimes reported by women. Though our intention is right, it will take some time to get things straight and actually see the difference.
Tell us about the women officers in your team. How do you encourage more women to take up careers in IPS?
Soon, it will be mandatory to reserve 33% seats for women in Police. It’s just the minimum requirement and I so wish to see more and more women in police as I believe that they are equally efficient as men and in fact, have an added quality which is sensitivity. They are more sensitive and affectionate which help the victims and the survivors feel comfortable around the Police.
After a detailed chat about his work, I decide to fire some fun questions and to my delight, he replies to all of them with promptness and some quick wit.
How do you fight unhealthy eating habits?
‘The thing that you are working so hard for in the gym, why do you want to spoil it out of the gym?’ is what keeps me disciplined.
Okay, so tell me what’s in your fridge right now?
So, I am opening my fridge as I speak and I can see a lot of water bottles, a bowl full of Barbeque (roasted) chicken, apples and dark chocolate that’s more than 90% cocoa. I don’t keep any sweets, cold drinks, or junk food in my kitchen or anything fried.
Your schedule when you are not in Khaki?
Once a policeman, always a policeman! I’m always on duty. However, when I am not working, I focus on my fitness, bodybuilding. And, the other regular things: watching TV, eating, etc.
Your favourite on-screen cop?
I really like Ajay Devgan’s character in Gangaajal.
The funniest pick-up line you heard?
*laughs* I’ll tell you the most common one: ‘What crime should I commit so that I get arrested by you?’
Your favorite motivational quote?
Dalai Lama’s quote when he was asked what surprised him about humanity the most:
“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”
Three things you are looking for in your life partner?
*laughs* No no no! I don’t define quality before experiencing it. I won’t go on a search for my life partner based on the list of qualities I want. I will meet the person and then decide whether I want to spend my life with her.
I imagine him blushing! (And, did I mention that I just skipped a heartbeat?)
What’s your idea of a cheat meal?
I believe in this saying, ‘Jab Gunaah karo toh Laziz karo!’ *chuckles*
What’s on loop in your playlist?
Oh, my idea of music is very different. I like Sufi songs. My favourites are Kailash Kher’s ‘Teri Deewani’ and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s ‘Saanson ki Maala’.
One social cause you would like to take up on a personal level?
As I said that I strive for health and fitness, I would like to conduct a health drive across the country. India has the largest young population in the world and to utilize their potential, it’s very necessary to ensure their physical and mental fitness and health.
Every young soul in the country needs to take inspiration from Sachin, a true youth icon. A role model we need to follow not just for his fitness but for his strong determination to uplift the lives of people around him. As he emphasized, “Let’s together strive to make a beautiful nation rather than just individuals.”
P.S. You can follow IPS Sachin Atulkar on his Facebook page here.
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