I was a student of Sacred Heart School, Amritsar. My school had an excellent value system. It was the best girls’ school of its time in the city. My teachers were all nuns from Belgium and Ireland. I was a naughty student but equally studious. I was into sports and was an all-rounder, and won the most prizes every year.
The IPS days
For me, the government was an instrument that had inherent power to change and ensure justice. I wanted to be both — a change-maker and justice-giver. The Indian Police Service, for me, had both these components inherent in it.
My professional highs were many. Whatever I did was for the love of doing. My highs were traffic management, including the deployment of cranes, during the ninth Asian Games when no one dared ask for any privileges. Other high points included rehabilitating thousands of erstwhile bootleggers to a crime-free life; setting up drug abuse treatment centres from within police stations to help prevent crime; setting up police beat boxes within localities for community policing; ensuring that the rank-and-file get their promotions and confirmations in time without asking; education and reform of prisoners at Tihar and mass computer training for all; setting up two foundations, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which daily benefit thousands of children, men and women in slums, prisons and rural areas in education, training, treatment.
This has been winning the hearts and minds of all whom I could serve. Friends are spread all over… India and overseas.
Advice to youngsters
Follow the 3M theory. Be a Master of what you do, be a trustworthy Member of your community, and add a higher Meaning to your life.
Remain inspired and prepare to perspire for your aspirations.
Don’t follow short cuts. Be willing to pay the price of sacrifice always. Don’t work for happiness, work out of happiness.
Kiran Bedi As told to Vandana Ramnani