Top cop seeks respect for women in police

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  • Published 18.09.10

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 17: When Soumya Mishra cleared the Indian Police Services (IPS) examination in 1994, she became the first woman from the state to join the prestigious service.

From then on Mishra inspired many women who are now following her footsteps. However, Mishra feels women have to go a long way before they receive a more dignified treatment by the police department.

A Ph D in Sociology from the Utkal University, Mishra who hails from Cuttack is an alumnus of the historic Stewart School and Ravenshaw College (now University) and had cleared the IPS examination without any coaching.

“I always used to excel in academics and had aimed to join the IPS as a youngster. In fact, I had got through a Junior Research Fellowship a few days before the results of the IPS exams were declared. I immediately chose the latter and I am proud of having joined the police department,” she says.

Mishra is currently the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Vishakapatnam range, Andhra Pradesh. Her younger sister Tadasha Mishra is also an IPS officer. She is the DIG, administration, Ranchi.

She reminisces how friends and relatives had discouraged her and her sister to join the police services.

“It was considered risky and dangerous. But sadly, even today there is some truth in the thought that junior officers and constables are not given due respect by the members of the male-dominated department,” she says.

She believes women are more sensitive towards their responsibility to the society and do their work sincerely.

“For men, if they are excellent once they are considered successful. But women, especially in police, have to prove that they are worth every time,” she says.

Mishra, who was in the city to attend the fourth National Conference of Women in Police, believes many reforms are needed in the department for women to be confident and comfortable to choose the police services.

“Policewomen need to be mainstreamed. They must be posted at centres of activity and not be dumped at a sidelined region,” she says.

“Moreover, if you induct women to the service, the basic facilities and infrastructure including toilets, crèche for working mothers should be provided to them. They must also be trained on the job and not just at the academy. They must be well-equipped to be confident,” she adds.

Mishra says encouragement through promotions and recruitment policies, which bring recognition and motivation to women, is also important. “Otherwise they will obviously lose the will to perform better,” she explains.

A mother of two, Mishra says she has long forgotten her hobbies of gardening, reading due to her work schedule. However, her dedication to her work brings her utmost satisfaction.

“Women police are alpha mothers and need to manage time well. Although it’s a challenging job, being in the pol ice is brings satisfaction as you help the public and re-establish the law of the land,” she says.