In spite of the poor sex ratio, women officers in India have outshined their male counterparts.
In India, women have slowly broken gender barriers and have made their presence felt in almost every sphere of society. But, when we look at the ratio of women in the police force and bureaucracy, it turns out that they represent only 6.11 percent of the total police force in the country while the number of women IAS officer is only 17 percent. Despite this poor sex ratio, women have set examples of remarkable bravery and are doing an exemplary service to the nation. Honest, gritty, and resolute, here are some of these women in the forces and administration
Known as the Iron lady of Assam, is the first woman to be have been appointed as an IPS officer in Assam. Sanjukta has arrested over 64 militants and taken down 16. She has also seized tons of arms and ammunition. Sanjukta is known to be a dedicated and courageous officer who is fighting against terrorism and corruption in a commendable manner.
At the age 23, Smita Sabharwal cracked UPSC exam and is the youngest officer to take up responsibility as additional secretary at a CM’s office. It has been 15 years since she joined the service, and she is popularly called ‘the people’s officer’. She is most known for the ‘Fund Your City’ campaign in Warangal, which appealed to the residents to help her build the infrastructure of Naxal-affected areas. She has closely worked for the improvement of the health and education department in Karimnagar. Smita arranged for computers and internet in these hospitals to monitor their work through Skype. She worked to increase the number of doctors available in the hospitals and for the improvement in the quality of equipment.
Neelamani N Raju, IPS officer of the 1983 batch, became the first woman Director General and Inspector General of Police (DG-IGP) leading the Karnataka police. Hailing from Roorkee in Uttarakhand, this 57-year-old, who has worked in Karnataka for over 10 years, has also served as the joint director of the Intelligence Bureau. From November this year, she will be leading over 80,000 personnel in Karnataka. Neelamani is determined to make the police more citizen-friendly.
Ritu Maheshwari is a 39-year-old IAS officer who has been working to curb the theft of electricity in Uttar Pradesh. A Punjab Engineering College graduate, she was appointed an official at Kanpur Electricity Supply Company Ltd (KESCo) in 2011, and soon proceeded to install new meters across one-third of the company’s customer base. Working at KESCo, she is taking measures to reduce the company’s losses by digitising power to curtail electricity theft. Since the time she took up the position, the company’s losses have dropped from 30 percent to 15 percent. However, Ritu had to face a lot of resistance, especially from the higher-ups. Nevertheless, she has been leading the programme with its goal to utilise technology for reducing the so-called aggregate technical and commercial losses to an average of 15 percent by 2019.
Aparajita Rai is the first female IPS officer from Sikkim. At the age of eight, she lost her father, who was a divisional forest officer in Sikkim. It was her mother Roma Rai who brought her up. Graduating with BA LLB (Hons) from West Bengal National University of Judicial Sciences, Aparajita failed in her first attempt at the UPSC exams. However, she bounced back and secured the 358th rank in UPSC exams, 2012, with the highest marks ever obtained by someone from Sikkim. At present, Aparajita is posted in Hooghly, West Bengal. Her major achievements include winning the 1958 Batch IPS Officers’ Trophy for the best Lady Outdoor Probationer, Umesh Chandra Trophy for Field Combat, the 55th Batch of Senior Course Officers Trophy for Best Turn Out, and West Bengal Govt Trophy for Bengali.
In 2009, Durga Shakti Nagpal secured an all India rank of 20 in the UPSC exams after which she joined the Indian Administrative Service in Punjab cadre. In 2011, she got known for exposing a land scam in Mohali. In 2012, she moved to Uttar Pradesh cadre after getting married to her husband, as a Sub-Divisional Magistrate in Noida, where she brought the scam of ‘sand mafia’ to the public eye. Due to this, Durga was suspended by the government of Uttar Pradesh, later her suspension revoked after opposition to criticism.
Born in Kashmir’s Kupwara district, Ruveda Salam is the first woman IPS officer from the valley. Before Ruveda cleared the UPSC exams, she got into a medical college. Ruveda found time to clear the Kashmir State Administrative Service exam while studying at the medical college. Instead of going for a post-graduation in medicine, Ruveda started preparing for the UPSC. Ruveda passed civil services exams twice; in her second attempt in 2013, she got IPS cadre. After her training in Hyderabad, she chose the Tamil Nadu cadre and is now posted as an Assistant Commissioner of Police in Chennai.
Poonam Malakondaiah is a 1988 batch IAS officer from Andhra Pradesh. She has worked in the area of education, social welfare, agriculture, panchayat raj, and more than that, she has been fighting corrupt politicians, businessmen, and lobbyists. Poonam’s defiant resistance to corruption has led to her being transferred seven times in the past six years.