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India’s first woman to join officer ranks of the Indian Police – Kiran Bedi is celebrating her birthday today.
Here’s a list of her achievments and a few popular quotes by her in honour of her admirable work in the Indian police department.
Born in the 1950s, an era in India which belonged to men and not women, Kiran Bedi, went on to become India’s first and highest ranking female police officer. A highly charismatic and accomplished personality, academically and professionally, she has lived a purposeful life, from her star educational qualifications to the noted appointments she held.
Inspiring the women of India and emboldening them with not just her words, but her conduct and achievements as well, ‘The Woman of Steel’ is considered a role model by many women.
Joining the police force in 1972, she embarked on the journey of revolutionizing the position and the perspective of Police officers. Following the Gandhian model of policing that was non-violent, truthful and equal for all, she moulded the principles of policing to “Power to correct, Power to Prevent and Power to Detect”, from the previous one of “Power to detect and Power to Punish.”
With United Nations declaring the year 1975 as “Women’s Year”, Kiran Bedi became the first lady officer in the Indian Police Service to lead the contingent of the Delhi Police in the Republic Day Parade that year.
“There is nothing unfinished on my agenda. I do whatever I can for the day. Simple ! If I were to die today; I will depart with nothing impending.” ~ Kiran Bedi
Vigilance, Innovation and Co-ordination were the hallmarks of her traffic tenure which earned her the audacious name, “Crane Bedi.” It was her idea of “Tough Policing, Equal Policing”, that landed her to become the Inspector General of Prisons of the Tihar jail from 1993 to 1995. She hence became the only woman to have headed a pre-dominantly male prison.
While the thought that provoked this action was to “lock her up” in her profession, by secluding her from the mainstream politics, she delved into the opportunity and transformed the prison into a reformatory. Through education and meditation – Vipassana and Yoga in the Prison system, she humanized imprisonment and converted the prison to an ashram.
Heading the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) mandated by Security Council to initiate, restore or strengthen policing and rule of law in countries, Bedi in 2003, became the first Indian woman to be appointed as a Police Advisor to the Secretary-General of the United Nations. For her outstanding performance in the same she was awarded the UN medal in 2004.
Visionary as Kiran Bedi is, she laid the foundation of two voluntary organizations, namely, Navajyoti in 1988 and India Vision Foundation in 1994. Navjyoti was founded with the the aim of improving the living conditions of the underprivileged people and drug addicts. It envisions to improve the socio-economic disparities and enable the vulnerable sections of the society towards self-motivation and self-reliance. This has positively affected the society by catering to the needs of the underprivileged people and also of those in need. United Nations presented the Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award to the Navjyoti organisation for its efforts in preventing drug abuse.
“I believe in prayer. I believe in gratitude and serving people.” ~ Kiran Bedi
It was during her tenure in Tihar that Kiran bedi interacted with the prisoners and soon came to the conclusion that the prisoners being in jail, was ‘as punishment’ and not ‘for punishment’. Captivated by their innocence and also of the fact that the infants of the female jail inmates were equally imprisoned along with their mothers, The India Vision Foundation was established. It works towards the betterment of the prison inmates encouraging many prison reforms and hence promising a better future. Even an undertaking by Kiran Bedi’s daughter, Saina Bedi called the ORIGINAL MIND awards the slum children who come up with original and creative ideas.
“ The focus is what is right before you – to give it your best. It sows the seeds of tomorrow. ~ Kiran Bedi
This epitome of braveness considers women to be the greasing wheels of the society and hence was of the view that educated women could bring forth a change in the society. A transformative person by nature, Kiran Bedi believes in resolving her own issues herself. She even proposes young children to take on the task of educating themselves. These words by Kiran bedi portray her belief in the power of education:
“What is the value of education which does not inculcate passion and fearlessness for setting right what is wrong?”
Kiran Bedi’s magnetism and charisma is worldly known. A movie titled, ‘Yes Sir, Madam’? by the Australian director Megan Doneman is witness to the same, being one of the few movies based on this sheroes’ life. She has a biography titled “I Dare” by Parmesh Dangwa and has herself authored more than 12 books on Tihar jail, corruption, governance and much more. For her vibrant thoughts and the stringent implementation of the same, she has been blessed with a number of accolades with Women of the Year Award (1980) , Magsaysay Award for Government Service (1994), Pride of India (1999), being few among many.
Here’s wishing her a wonderful birthday and success in all her future endeavours.
Belonging to the coterie of feminists, she is a humanities graduate, aspiring to become a
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