Women police constables (WPCs) will for the first time be inducted as drivers for police vehicles on Thursday. The first batch of nine WPCs will formally be given their new assignment by Home Minister R.R. Patil at an official function at the Police Club.
“Women are treated on par with their male counterparts in our force. That is the precise reason why they have been given this new responsibility that was always considered to be an exclusive domain of men,” said Deputy Commissioner of Police, Headquarters-I Vijaysingh Jadhav adding that the proposal to train WPCs as drivers had come from additional chief secretary (home) Chandra Iyengar.
Jadhav said the first batch of nine constables was selected from amongst a group of fresh recruits who had volunteered for the job. “We know it is an extremely strenuous job. But if women can fly aeroplanes, navigate ships or work as motormen, why can’t they drive vehicles?” Jadhav said adding that those selected were trained at motor-driving institute, For She, in south Mumbai for one-and-a-half months before they were deemed fit for the job.
The training expense was footed by the department. He said postings to the first group will be allotted soon.
Asked if the police administration will continue the practice of inducting women as drivers in the future, Jadhav said: “In fact, we would like to have more of them applying for the job once they are selected as constables in our recruitments.” Women are posted in almost all branches of the Mumbai police. A few months ago, for the first time an inspector-rank lady officer had been posted as senior inspector (at Sahu Nagar police station).