Woman In Khaki

Akriti Jamwal. Updated: 6/7/2017 2:17:36 PM We the Women

Few decades ago, a few women were out and about. With increase in number of enrollment in schools and level of education, we have witnessed increase in number of women working and earning their livelihood. And not just that, they hold powerful and influential designation and are in no way any lesser than their counterpart gender. To bring forth such exuberant women in uniform, whose aura will definitely leave you in awe, ‘We The Women’ brings for you a section ‘Woman In Khaki’.

Have you ever come across a woman in uniform? What feelings and thoughts did it induce in you? Well, whatever that may be, I was flooded with feeling of admiration and respect. So, to know more about life of women in uniform we met Shaheen Wahid, SP Traffic Jammu Rural. And the conversation only amplified the pre-existing feelings.

Shaheen was born and brought up in tough terrain of Ladhakh, in a tribal area, where ‘work culture’ prevails and is practiced in every family, whether rich or poor. Which means unlike the excessively comfy environment kids these days are brought up in, children then, were involved in household chores. Shaheen reminisces that despite being first child in her maternal and paternal family she was loved and pampered a lot. But that does not mean that you were allowed to get spoilt. Along with studies, she used to help her mother, break coal for ‘Bukhadi’ (heater), bring home water to drink, go to the streams to wash clothes; but life was adventurous and peaceful. Shaheen shared’ “My parents gave me best of education, they possibly could; the school I was in till 10th was one of the best, where we were encouraged to indulge in mountaineering, trekking and other sports”. After class 10th Shaheen went to Chandigarh for higher education, where she completed her 12th, graduation as well as master’s degree.

On being asked, if being in Police was planned she told, “It was by chance not by choice”. She explained that she was more inclined towards Civil Services, but when her friend applied for Police, she thought of giving it a chance as well. She adds, although was by chance, but she is content that she made it into this field, because of how much it synced with her individuality. “I used to enjoy the physical activities which others used to find exhausting, because I was already used to leading such tough life” says Shaheen. And so, she encourages others as well, to explore Policing as career option as well.

Shaheen got into the chair of SP Traffic Rural Jammu in February from State Crime Record Bureau, which is completely different. Earlier she used to collect data and conduct surveys regarding Crime rate and so on and submit it to NCRP, NHA and like departments. Today, she has four districts, Rajouri, Poonch, Samba and Kathua under her jurisdiction. Her work includes touring, inspection, surveys, law enforcement and so on. Along with this, since the scenario of work policy in police is transitioning from being brute force to community police, which aims to built a repo among society and work along with it. She mentioned, “Traffic is very big challenge. Although crime rate is very high, think for an instance, number of people you know who have committed any crime and then think of people who are on road for one reason or another, every single day. The more people there are on road, the higher their chances of disobeying the law and order. You cannot bring a change just by mere enforcement of law or by ‘chalanning’; people need to be made aware about the rules and regulations as well as the need to follow them. No doubt that nobody is spared if we come to impose ‘chalan’ but we take a different strategy when it comes to interacting with public”.

Being in such position might appear luxurious and comfortable but is it so? “Uniform gives you a sense of authority but it is also a reminder that we are servant to the society and hence we should not let that sense of power into our head” Says Shaheen. At times Shaheen has to start around 4 in the morning, reach to extreme of her jurisdiction, spend day doing whatever is needed, say inspection, survey or enforcement and then reach back around mid-night. And even when she is in office the work load of such large area can be well estimated. And let’s not assume that she has no personal responsibilities. She is mother of three, elder one aged around six and youngest one around one. Her family also includes her parents-in-law and her husband. Despite having such schedule, Shaheen believes that it is essential to balance between both family and work. Here she emphasis on importance of having a support system to help her through. She thanks her mother-in-law for taking care of her children when she is out and about.

Talking about women in general, according to Shaheen Women is epitome of sacrifice and patience. “In our society, people get sad when a girl is born to them. Even when they provide her with same facilities as they provide their boy, there is difference in their attitude as well as their expectations from both of them. Girls are expected to take care of everyone’s need in family and be dedicated towards their responsibilities. I have no objection with that as I believe everyone should be self reliant. If a girl can be asked for a glass of water when anyone comes home, a boy should be expected to do the same. We need to have parity among both the genders even in our behavior and expectations; only then we can inculcate same set of qualities in males as well. After all, a little patience and sense of putting someone else’s interest can resolve so many issues that are prevailing and hence help us grow as a nation.

On being asked who empowered woman is, Shaheen replied that she believes, every woman is empowered if she exercises her duties as well as rights; every woman who is aware about her strength and the value of her contribution in her family as well as society is ‘Empowered’. She added, “If being at such designation, I am not confident enough that I can execute my responsibilities well, I am not empowered at all, despite that.” To women out there, she says that they should take up every challenge and strongly get through them; never letting the fact that they are women, become an excuse.

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