Kiran Bedi (born 9 June 1949) is a retired Indian Police Service officer.
She is social activist, former tennis player and politician, who is the current Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry.
Kiran Bedi is the first female Indian Police Service (IPS) officer and started her service in 1975.
She remained in service for 35 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2007 as Director General of Police, Bureau of Police Research and Development.
Early Life And Education:
Bedi was born in Amritsar, in a well settled Punjabi business family. She is the second child of Prakash Lal Peshawaria and Prem Lata.
She has three sisters: Shashi, Reeta, and Anu. Her great-great grandfather Lala Hargobind had migrated from Peshawar to Amritsar, where he set up a business.
Bedi started her formal studies in 1954, at the Sacred Heart Convent School in Amritsar. She participated in National Cadet Corps (NCC), among other extra-curricular activities.
When she was in Class 9, Bedi joined Cambridge College, a private institute that offered science education and prepared her for matriculation exam.
Bedi graduated in 1968, with a BA (Honours) in English, from Government College for Women at Amritsar. The same year, she won the NCC Cadet Officer Award.
In 1970, she obtained a master’s degree in political science from Punjab University, Chandigarh. From 1970 to 1972, Bedi taught as a lecturer at Khalsa College for Women in Amritsar.
She met her future husband Brij Bedi on tennis courts of Amritsar. Brij, who was nine years older than her, played university-level tennis at the time.
On 9 March 1972, the two married at a simple ceremony at the local Shivalaya temple. The two have lived separately for most of their married life.
Inspired by her father, Bedi started playing tennis at the age of nine. As a teenage tennis player, she cut her hair short as they interfered with her game.
As a teenager, Bedi became the national junior tennis champion in 1966. Between 1965 and 1978, she won several titles at national and state-level championships.
In 1964, she played her first tournament outside Amritsar, participating in the national junior lawn tennis championship at Delhi Gymkhana. She lost in early rounds, but won the trophy two years later, in 1966.
As the national champion, she was eligible for entry to the Wimbledon junior championship, but was not nominated by the Indian administration.
Indian Police Service career:
On 16 July 1972, Bedi started her police training at the National Academy of Administration in Mussoorie. She was the only woman in a batch of 80 men, and became the first woman IPS officer.
In 1979, Bedi was posted to Delhi’s West District, where there were not enough officers to handle the high volume of criminal activity.
To compensate, she gave the order that each village in the district will be night patrolled by six civilians led by an armed policeman. Bedi did not spare errant motorists from the rich and influential section of the society,
Which resulted in a powerful lobby against her.
Campaign against drugs
In 1986, Bedi became DCP of Delhi’s North District, where the primary problem was drug abuse.
With help from her superiors, Bedi set up a detox center in one of the police premises. The center relied on community donations of furniture, blankets, medicines and other supplies.
The initiative was widely noticed, and Bedi travelled all over India, giving presentations and lectures on the programme.
She and 15 other police officers institutionalized the detox centers as Navjyoti Police Foundation for Correction, De-addiction and Rehabilitation. Bedi served as the General Secretary of the Foundation.
Next, she moved to West Delhi, where she brought a reduction in crimes against women. Subsequently, as a traffic police officer, she oversaw traffic arrangements for the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi and the 1983 CHOGM meet in Goa.
After joining IPS, Bedi served in Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh and Mizoram. She also worked as Inspector General(IG) in Tihar Jail in the year 1993, which gained worldwide acclaim and won her the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994.
In the year 2003, she became first Indian Women to be appointed at post of Secretary-General of the United Nations.
Bedi has authored the following works:
- In 1985, she authored a book “Demand For Swaraj(1905-1930).
- In 2006, Bedi Authored a Book “It’s Always Possible: One Woman’s Transformation of Tihar Prison.”
- Kiran Bedi authored in 2001 another book “Government @ Net: New Governance Opportunities for India”.
- Kiran Bedi authored in 2003 a book named as “As I see”.
- “Galti Kiski” in 2006.
- “Yeha Sambhav Hai” in 2006.
- Empowering Women… As I See – by Kiran Bedi in 2008.
- Leadership & Governance… As I See – by Kiran Bedi in 2008.
- Indian Police… As I See – by Kiran Bedi in 2008.
- In addition to, another book written by Kiran Bedi in 2010 is “Broom & Groom”.
- Likewise the most impactfull book of Bedi is “Uprising 2011: Indians Against Corruption”.
- Further another book published in 2012 is “Be the Change: Fighting Corruption” in 2013.
- In 2016 another book of Kiran published was ” Dr. Kiran Bedi : Creating Leadership”.
- In the same way in 2016 “Himmat Hai Kiran Bedi” was published.
Awards And Recognitions
- Kiran got Cadet Officer Award from NCC in 1968 for Performance as an NCC cadet.
- From President of India she got President’s Police Medal for Gallantry in 1979 for Conspicuous courage in preventing violence during Akali-Nirankari clashes.
- Asia Region Award from International Organization of Good Templars, Norway in 1991 for Drug prevention and control.
- Similarly, Ramon Magsaysay Award from Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation, Philippines in 1994 for Government service.
- Fr Maschio Humanitarian Award from Fr Maschio Platinum Jubilee Celebration Committee, Don Bosco Matunga in 1995 for Social reforms and community services.
- Lion of the Year from Lions Club, KK Nagar in 1995 for Community service.
- Joseph Beuys Prize from Joseph Beuys Foundation, Germany in 1997 for Holistic and Innovative Management (Prison reform).
- Further, in 1999 Pride of India from American Federation of Muslims of Indian Origin (AFMI) for Commitment towards human welfare.
- IIT Delhi Alumni Award from Indian Institute of Technology – Delhi Alumni Association in 1999-2000 for Outstanding Contribution to National Development.
- Morrison Tom Gitchoff Award from Western Society of Criminology, United States in 2001 for Actions that have significantly improved the quality of justice in India.
- In Addition to this, United Nations Medal from United Nations in 2004 for Outstanding service.
- Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice from All India Christian Council in 2005 for Reforms in prison and penal systems.
- Most Admired Woman in the Country from The Week in 2006.
- FICCI Award of Excellence from FICCI Ladies Organisation in 2008 for Being an outstanding woman achiever.
- Similarly, Kumarappa-Reckless Award from Indian Society of Criminology in 2008 for Outstanding contribution in the areas of criminal justice administration.
- Nomura Award from Nomura Group in 2013 for Humanitarian work.
- L’Oreal Paris Femina Women Award from L’Oréal and Femina in 2014 for Social impact.
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