Submitted by alvin on Fri, 2016-09-30 11:32 Mysuru: Considering the hardship that the police undergo while preparing for the 21-round canon firing for the Jumbo Savari on Vijayadashami Day, the government – for the first time – is providing insurance cover to these policemen. Canon firing is one of the significant aspects of Jumbo Savari on the Vijayadashami Day. Police fire in 21 rounds to kick off the colourful Jumbo Savari at Mysuru Palace. But seldom anyone realises the hardship that the police undergo. Mysuru is gearing up to witness 406th Dasara celebration this year and canon firing has been the quintessential part of the ten-day celebrations. Although, the police fire the canons only on the Vijayadashami Day, they prepare for it for days together. But over the years, this custom of firing canons to mark the beginning of Jumbo savari and at torch light parade at Bannimantap has turned into a nightmare for policemen. Two years back, a City Armed Reserve (CAR) policeman who participated in the cannon firing during Dasara festival lost his hearing completely due to loud noise. There were several such incidents where policemen have silently suffered with hearing problems during such drills. Except for cotton balls the police have nothing to protect their earbuds from high-decibel sound. In fact the drill itself takes a toll on the policemen. They have to practice four hours everyday for more than 20 days at the premises of Mysuru Palace as well as at foothills of Chamundi Hills. This is done to familiarize the elephants with the drill. A 28-member team of police personnel from CAR along with forest personnel conduct the drill at both venues. CAR Sub-Inspector Ramu told Bfirst.in that canon firing is not an easy task. “It is dangerous. We play with fire risking our lives. Lot of precautionary measures need to be taken for during the drill as we use phosphorus as gunpowder. Around 1,800 grams of phosphorus (stored in small bags) are placed inside the cannon and fired in air. Each cannon will have five policemen who practice firing”, he said. Nearly 400 kgs of phosphorus is purchased from Arasikere crackers factory and brought to city with high security. These gun powders will be distributed to each seven teams of CAR. Later, the firing drill is held in front of twelve jumbos and horses which participate in the procession. CAR police Mahadevappa, who is participating from in canon firing for the past past 2 years, said: “Canon firing drill is a risky task. Two years ago one of my colleagues lost his hearing capability. It is like playing with life,” he said. He hopes that along with insurance cover, the government would provide better safety equipment to the policemen involved in the drill.