Made in Chandigarh: The city must retain its feel, says Kiran Bedi
Kiran Bedi says she owes her all-round development to the City Beautiful where she completed her post-graduation from Panjab University.
The first woman police officer of India muses....
Name: Kiran Bedi
Designation: At present, I am the Lt Governor of Puducherry.
I was born and raised in Amritsar. My ancestors had migrated from Peshawar to Amritsar much before my birth. My father Prakash Lal Peshawaria helped with the family’s textile business, and also played tennis.
I did my matriculation from Cambridge College, a private institute in Amritsar that offered science education. Sacred Heart, my previous school, used to offer only household science and not pure science. I completed my BA (Hons) in English from Government College for Women in Amritsar in 1968, the year I won the NCC Cadet Officer Award. Later, I did master’s degree in political science following which I taught this subject at Khalsa College in Amritsar. Later, after joining the Indian Police Service, I completed law from Delhi University in 1988. Later in 1993, I went on to do Ph.D. from IIT Delhi’s Department of Social Sciences.
My Chandigarh connect
I came to Chandigarh in 1968 to pursue post-graduation in Political Science from Panjab University.
Area of expertise
Law enforcement, prison management and administration as well as teaching are my areas of expertise. I am also an authority on NGO and project management.
My secret sauce
I am a firm believer in God’s grace. I am always filled with gratitude towards it.
Th turning point
My entry into the Indian Police Services was definitely a turning point in my life. I was the only woman in a batch of 80 men, and became the first woman IPS officer of the country at the age of 24.
What I owe to Chandigarh
I owe my personal all-round growth in academics, sports, and creative activities to this vibrant city. It was in the city that I won Northern India Lawn tennis Championship, my first major tennis tournament, in 1970.
Things I like to do when I visit Chandigarh
I enjoy cycling around its quiet lanes. I also make it a point to go for a walk at the beautiful Sukhna Lake.
Has the city changed?
Yes, it has. Chandigarh is much more crowded now. But I am happy to see that it has managed to retain its ambience. Most importantly, it is still green. The city abounds with trees.
Change I want to see in the city
I wish the city could be less congested. It must retain its feel. I would advise the planners to spread it out, and keep the open, green spaces. We must keep the city spaced.
The best advice I ever got
Begin with what you have, and build from there. Don’t wait for things to fall into place.
My advice to budding lawyers/politicians
They must know who they really are. And what they want and why. They should also know how much they need to be happy. Be true to yourself. In the end, whatever you are doing is to be happy and healthy. Do what gives you this happiness and good health.
Being a lawyer and a politician can be very demanding. Check if you are ready for it. Find out if you are willing to give what it requires. See if you are willing to make the sacrifices that are needed.
My advice to young aspirants of IAS and IPS
This service gives you the power to serve. Never ever forget that. It gives you full career security to be courageous and fearless. It’s about building the nation and its future by serving the present. You must be there for those who need you the most. Hence, make sure you stay close to the ground.