Spearheading the Peace Crusade Through Non-Violent Communication Techniques


Peace cannot be built on the foundations of fear. On the same lines, a two-day interactive workshop on “Non-violent Communication and Conflict Resolution” was organized by Gandhi Smriti and Darshan Samiti (GSDS) for Delhi Home Guards on July 19-20, 2018 at Directorate General of Home Guards, Raja Garden, New Delhi.

The workshop was conducted by Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu (Programme Officer, GSDS) along with three eminent resource persons such as Shri Kumar Amitabh (senior journalist and filmmaker), Ms. Shweta Rashmi (journalist), and Ms. Anupama Jha (expert on stress management). They contributed to achieve the overarching goal of enhancement of ‘police-public partnership’ and to integrate Gandhian techniques in carrying out duties by the Homeguards. The session was attended by 300 home guards spread across Delhi.

The programme started by outlining the aim and objectives of the orientation programme and ice-breaking exercises by Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu and Ms. Kanak Kaushik. The two-day long workshop had parallel sessions in two different rooms underlying the themes of peace and non-violence.

The themes addressed during the session included:

  • Understanding of different perspectives on ‘Peace’, ‘Nonviolence’ and ‘Conflict’;
  • Critical understanding of everyday conflicts and resolution techniques and Conflict Mapping;
  • An introduction to Non-violent Conflict Resolution approaches, Negotiation, Mediation and Non-violent Communication;
  • Integrating nonviolent communication and dialogues in community policing and enhancing Police Image.
    • On the second day of the workshop, an elaborative session on “Stress Management and Work-Life Balance” was conducted that also introduced the participants to techniques of meditation and other stress relieving techniques. Key tips were given on how to stay motivated during their work. The sessions were concluded by group presentations given by the participants on the case studies presented to them through the course of the workshop.

      While speaking on the benefits of programme Dr. Vedabhyas Kundu said, “Home Guards play an important role of a mediator to solve conflicts between the two groups or individual. This programme could help them deal with the situation without using coercive methods and violence. Thus making their job easier and safer and also help them to develop friendly linkage with /between the citizens.”

      He also shared experiences of similar programme organized by the Samiti amongst Home Guards and Police Forces in different parts of the country. He added that this programme will help to integrate Gandhian techniques of nonviolent conflict resolution and nonviolent communication in actual policing duties and draw attention towards the soul of programme i.e. to empower communities to actively engage with the police and to initiate joint police-community interventions using nonviolent techniques for crime prevention and safe neighborhood.

      Further HEALTH formula for effective policing and good police-public relations was elaborated which speaks about:

      • H=Honesty,
      • E=Empathy,
      • A=Acceptance
      • L=LISTENING,
      • T=TRUST and
      • H=HEART.

      Group exercises were carried on with the participants to analyze the case studies taken in different context.