A Few Good Women!
By ANJALI NAURIYAL
SP (City) Shweta Choubey has emerged as one of the top cops who are conscientious about their responsibilities towards the citizenry in times when policing has undergone a sea change. Presented below are excerpts from an exclusive interview.
How challenging is it for women in the 21st century to be part of the police force in India?
Challenging it is… earlier it was a male dominated profession but now we have women at all levels in these services. Working in a professional manner one realises that the force also accepts you.
Another challenge was public perception… the police as an institution can really make a lot of impact on people’s lives. They approach police when in trouble and need and if the issues are addressed in time and one gets relief…they bless you…and it’s gratifying…and I give tremendous value to this perception…this is our actual duty…it’s tough but satisfies the soul.
We are going through difficult times. What are the strengths that help you overcome the stumbling blocks of your career as a police officer?
Yes we are going through a tough phase. The pattern of policing has changed over the last one month.
We are reaching out to all pockets and areas and trying to provide rations and other essential items to the people stuck in the lockdown. We are endeavouring to be a reliable source of strength for the senior citizens and trying our utmost to address their problems. We have been receiving innumerable calls and addressing various concerns during the lockdown. My strength at the moment is my entire team…each and every police personnel is going out of the way to help citizens…and I believe in these troubled times police are really performing a vital service…for each and every person in society.
The best part is we are getting a lot of time to work among the general public right now, with no VIP duties and no ‘julus-dharna’.
How successfully is the clampdown working in times of the Corona pandemic?
The police are keeping long hours, which is exhausting but helping people in this hour of need is soul satisfying. Dehradun is a city of literate people. But many still do not understand that the lockdown is for their safety. Coming out in 4 wheelers to buy groceries is making a mockery of the lockdown. We have seized more than 1000 vehicles and more than 3000 challans have been issued to vehicles not following lockdown rules. In the city area, 62 FIRs have been registered till now under section 188 of the IPC.
Please provide some suggestions for the citizenry to cope with the stress of current times?
Please adhere to lockdown rules. Lockdown is basically aimed at limiting the spread of the virus and preventing new hotspots from emerging.
Don’t go out of the house unless there is an emergency.
Follow social distancing norms, wear masks while going out and take care of the elderly in the house as well as those staying alone in localities. They must share details with us so that in case of need we can promptly help.
Focus on home delivery or local grocery shops near your house. Use two- wheelers with no pillion riders and four wheelers only if there is an emergency. No gatherings are allowed. Avoid non-essential travel. Our goal is to ensure effective lockdown.
What are some of the chief lessons learnt by you from the dynamics of the times?
This is a state of emergency. It has changed the style of policing. Crime has surely reduced and public have become the top priority.
Enforcement especially related to health and social regulations are important. The range of duties has drastically altered. We have pulled back from traditional duties to a very different role like feeding those in need with the help of local NGOs and the administration.
Your husband too is a police officer. Does it help to be in the same profession? How?
Yes, it’s good if your husband is in the same profession. There is a lot of understanding and comfort level at home that definitely helps in efficacious fulfillment of duties both on the home front and in office. Manikant my husband is a pillar of strength for me. As a result of busy schedule and fear of infection I am not able to take care of our kids but he is devoting his entire time with them. My kids demand a hug which I am not able to give.