If police stations are synonymous with dark lock-up rooms and stiff-faced 'khaki' clad officers for children, a station in north Kerala is taking a different path.
This police station in the politically-volatile Kannur district will only bring the images of smiling doctors and colourful walls to their minds.
Doctors will attend to the woes and worries of children free of cost at this station, where cartoon characters and colourful paintings will give wings to their fantasy.
For the first time in the state, the town police station in Kannur is offering paediatric services within its four walls on Sundays.
Parents can bring their children to the 'child-friendly unit' at the station, where specialised doctors will attend to them.
This is one of the six police stations recognised as 'child-friendly' by the state government as part of the community policing initiative.
Circle inspector of Kannur Town, T K Ratnakumar, who conceptualised the idea of 'station clinic', said the objective of the initiative is to address the dearth of the service of doctors on Sundays to attend to children.
"It is a worrisome issue in the town.. As Sunday is public holiday, it is generally very difficult to get the service of doctors especially pediatricians.. So, we have decided to use the child-friendly unit at the station for the purpose," he told PTI.
The initiative is carried out with the support of the Indian Academy of Pediatrics (IAP). A panel of 14 doctors has been formed and the service of different pediatricians will be available each Sunday at the police station.
Children would be more comfortable in the school-like ambience at the room, he added.
The service of pediatricians would be available from 10 am to 1 pm on Sundays. Already, 12 children have availed the service of the 'station clinic,' soon after the inauguration on Sunday.
State Minister for Ports and Museums, Kadannappally Ramachandran formally opened it for public at a function, police added.