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Who’s afraid of lady DM?

india Updated: Mar 26, 2009 00:28 IST
Sunita Aron

There’s nothing that Ministhy Dileep can’t do. She juggles between being an author, a poet, a mother and the District Magistrate of Mainpuri, UP — a role that has suddenly catapulted her to the limelight.

Who’d believe that this petite 35-year-old from Kerala could give Samajwadi Party leader Mulayam Singh Yadav a dressing down and launch a drive against illegal arms dealers and yet be liked by the public?

Ministhy has a reputation of being no-nonsense — she’s straightforward, honest and believes in doing the right thing.

Which is why, ever since she joined office two months ago in Mainpuri, she has enforced the Model Code of Conduct strictly in her district and has initiated action against 100 illegal arms dealers since elections were announced. She’s even issued warnings that she would get re-polling done in booths that register over 70 per cent voting, a fact Yadav hasn’t been able to digest.

All that apart, Ministhy is very talented. A gold-medalist from XLRI-Jamshedpur, she’s done her masters in Electrical Engineering and worked in Steel Authority of India (SAIL), until she pursued her dreams to be an IAS officer.

Google this fire-brand of a woman and you will see half-a-dozen articles and poems she’s written over the last couple of years all in beautiful prose, just magnifying her personality. But nothing describes as well as her own words do in an article titled Woman, be true to yourself “When we were kids, no one told us to dream different because of our gender.

(Thank God Taliban was non-existent then!) To me, the greatest sign of empowerment is the freedom to make one’s choice”
It’s exactly this choice that has led her to strive and work harder towards improving herself with each new step. Which is why she is highly respected in her batch of IAS officers and extremely well-read.

Mainpuri is the fourth posting for the 2003 batch officer — second as district magistrate. Her first charge was equally eventful in Shahjahanpur.

In the meanwhile she’s written four books, which include three for children - Learning with Tippy Tortoise: Tales for Kids, Happy Birthday: Poems for Kids and 25 Pearls for Children which was recently released by Nageen Publications, Meerut. Her love for children is apparent, as her books are dedicated to her two young daughers.

But that’s not all, for her book Unequal Equations, on women-centric issues, she’s even done the sketches, which are dotted throughout.

Of course she’s tech-savvy, she carries her laptop everywhere, but it’s the local language she struggles with the most. As a Keralite, she isn’t a 100 per cent fluent with Hindi, often mixing up her tenses and personal pronouns — something which often creates piquant situations for her in the Hindi heartland.