February 07, 2020
Lalit Das, IPS, Chairman, Odisha Police Housing & Welfare Corporation
Lalit Das(Cop With Rare Chivalry) hit the headlines recently when he flagged off the ‘Golden Triangle Relay Run’, a unique initiative by the Bhubaneswar Cycling and Adventure Club for spreading awareness about climate change and sensitizing people for its protection.
Das(Cop With Rare Chivalry) apart from being a no-holds-barred cop is known for his penchant for fitness.
The raging spirit of daredevilry and adventure was within him even before he joined IPS. An alumnus of NIT, Rourkela, IIT-Madras and IIM, Bengaluru, Das(Cop With Rare Chivalry) is a man of myriad talents.
Born and raised in Rourkela, he got into REC as NIT was known then, in 1982.
“I had joined REC (now NIT-R) in the year of 1982. Initially, I had been admitted into the discipline of Chemical Engineering but was later slid up to the Metallurgical and Material Engineering stream. For us, getting into REC was our dream. We had the Rourkela Steel Plant and we had dreams to become an engineer. The people of Rourkela loved us.”
Besides being a distinguished police officer, Das is a member of the World Peacekeeping Force, a saxophone player, a cyclist, and a marathon runner.
“I have always been an ardent sports enthusiast. I used to be a good cyclist, bagging a silver medal for two years straight. My senior was a better cyclist and when he passed out I won the gold medal. Most of the time, we used to watch movies in the theatre. However, I missed out on the fun activities in the hostel, is a day scholar. I was declared best all-rounder and was the branch topper”, he says.
Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) had sponsored his Masters in Aircraft Engineering Production at IIT-Madras.
He continued working for HAL till 1992 after which he appeared in the Civil Services Examination.
“Back in those days, the exam had Mechanical, Electrical and Civil Engineering as optional subjects. My friends from the Mechanical Engineering discipline had also appeared for the same by opting for engineering subjects as optional, whereas I had taken an interest in Geography. Since school days, I had an interest in the subject. Hence, I opted for Geography and Sociology as my electives”, he recalls.
Narrating his experience as a part of the International Peacekeeping Force, Das says, “I had gone to Sierra Leone, on the west coast of Africa. It has a lot of diamond mines. Rebels from Liberia invaded the area killing many civilians there.UN peacekeeping force was assigned to that place. There we trained the local police force for a year. Working with an international community gave us exposure to learning about different communities. People from all walks of regionalism merged together to work towards a common goal, which felt really great”.
His mantra to the aspiring- “My mantra has been always hard work. You should give back to society. You should always bring out the best in others. Be an effective leader and a pathfinder”.