The Central Industrial Security Force, which protects the country’s infrastructure, has had a recent brainwave — to turn to the experts when it comes to keeping a calm head.
At airports around India, CISF personnel are increasingly facing work-related stress while handling passengers and also due to long hours.
They are also considered the “first Indian faces” greeting both domestic and international fliers and it doesn’t really work in our favour if a foreigner is expected to negotiate with a hassled jawan who’s hungry and nearing end of shift.
So in a radical plan — and to make sure instructions and tips are heard and obeyed — CISF is taking the help of Indian icons, Team India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni, chess wizard Vishwanathan Anand and hockey legend Dhanraj Pillai, to give pointers on keeping calm.
These captains of cool will interact with CISF forces, sharing tips borrowed from their own experiences in the pressure cooker that’s competitive sport.
A source close to Vishy confirmed he’s been asked to speak to the personnel.
“It’s also motivational. He will be the ideal person to give instructions on how to remain calm and cordial during situations of stress. I mean, look at him... the guy’s so grounded.”
According to reports, CISF is launching the programme for airports across the country. Dhoni will be handling Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International while Anand, on Tuesday, will speak to the men guarding posts and queues at the Chennai airport. It’s still unclear if CISF is planning a session at the Hyderabad airport. When asked who they would pick for Hyderabad, an official said: “The focus is on regional celebs. We will decide on a name soon but it all depends on instructions from HQ.”
Those close to Dhoni meanwhile are thrilled with the idea of Captain Cool dispensing some ice cold, bullet-proof wisdom. “It is a proper decision by the CISF to hire the services of Dhoni to educate airport staff,” says D.R. Singh, former principal of Dhoni’s school (DAV, Shyamali).
“There can’t be a better person than Dhoni to hand out etiquette lessons to jawans. He was the most disciplined boy of our school. He was in our school for 14 years and I know him from his childhood. He has been very sober and down to earth. There's a reason why they call him Captain Cool.”
The former teacher also has an anecdote to share. “I remember this one incident when he was invited to our school for an event after he was made captain. While addressing students, he showed them a fountain pen, which he had received from the school’s commerce teacher (Ms Kumar). He had preserved that pen for so many years. That’s respect. Make no mistake, he is the right man.”
— Inputs from BIPIN DANI