“I’ve learnt from my experience and by my senior officers to face any challenge with a brave heart”: Lived experiences of Indian police community members during the pandemic


This qualitative study attempted to assess Indian police officers’ lived experiences of the pandemic and lockdown in the country. Sixteen participants (6 female and 10 male police officials) were interviewed. Data from the interviews was analyzed using thematic analysis. It was reported that several changes had occurred in the nature of the responsibilities that police personnel were expected to execute since the outbreak. Prior to it, the primary focus of the participants had been on management of crime. However, after the lockdown, the focus shifted to COVID-19 related duties. Three major sources of concern among police personnel were threat of acquiring the virus, of passing it on to family members and the attacks on policemen as they discharged their duties. Another important challenge was the adverse effects of increased job timings. Lack of proper sleep schedules due to emergency night shifts, increased job demands and mental burden led to feelings of exhaustion and fatigue. Within this scenario, family support and faith in God were reported to play a significant role in coping. Interestingly some police personnel also saw their work as adding a sense of purpose to their lives as they were engaged in protecting other people from the pandemic.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i24212113v8i2p81

Keywords: Police, COVID-19, lived experiences, Indian, qualitative


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