In a first, a Delhi police officer - Seema Dhaka - has been promoted before time for finding 76 missing children in nearly three months under a new incentive scheme. "When we join police force, we're aware of the challenges involved, and we're aware of the risk to our lives. That doesn't deter us," Ms Dhaka told NDTV today as she shared that the acknowledgment of her efforts has greatly motivated her.
Ms Dhaka, posted as Head Constable at northwest Delhi's Samaypur Badli Police station "is the first police personnel of Delhi Police, who has been given OTP (out-of-turn promotion) for tracing missing children under the incentive scheme," the Delhi Police said in a statement. She has been promoted as an Assistant Sub-Inspector. The cop is a farmer's daughter from Uttar Pradesh's Shamli and has an eight-year-old son.
"I am happy that my efforts have been recognised. This will motivate me, and probably will encourage others too. All the children I traced were during the pandemic," Ms Dhaka told NDTV.
Speaking about the challenges she faced, the police officer said: "Since trains were not running during the Covid lockdown, it turned out to be a little difficult when I was travelling out of Delhi. Some parents, due to the lockdown, had gone back to their hometowns. So I had to make an effort to try and find their addresses."
"It gave me immense happiness when parents were reunited with the children and they showered blessings on me. Today, as I am promoted, my happiness has doubled," she added.
Ms Dhaka said "cooperation from family and colleagues" helped her significantly in delivering her duties as a woman cop.
She traced as many as 76 missing children and 56 of them are below the age of 14 years. "These missing children have been traced not only from Delhi but from other states as far as Punjab and West Bengal," the official statement added, underlining Seema Dhaka's "sincere and painstaking efforts".
Among those who praised her for the achievement was Commissioner of Police SN Shrivastava. "Women HC Seema Dhaka, PS Samaypur Badli, deserves congratulations for being the first police person to be promoted out of turn for recovering 56 children in 3 months under incentive scheme. Hats off to fighting spirit and joy brought to families. @LtGovDelhi (sic)," he wrote on Twitter.
Women HC Seema Dhaka, PS Samaypur Badli, deserves congratulations for being the first police person to be promoted out of turn for recovering 56 children in 3 months under incentive scheme. Hats off to fighting spirit and joy brought to families. @LtGovDelhi@HMOIndia@PMOIndia— CP Delhi #DilKiPolice (@CPDelhi) November 18, 2020
Many others posted congratulatory messages. "She is Seema Dhaka. A constable in Delhi police. She just became first Delhi Police Officer to get out of turn promotion for tracing 76 missing kids. Most of her cases involved children who had been separated from their families and disappeared years ago. Salute madam Folded handsFolded hands," IFS Officer Parveen Kaswan wrote on Twitter.
Actor Richa Chadha also shared a tweet, lauding the cop's achievement.
❤️????????thank you Seema Dhaka ???? https://t.co/BdgBFBFm5C— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) November 18, 2020
WHC Seema Dhaka is currently posted in the Outer North District. She has been granted Promotion out-of-turn by CP Delhi for recovery of 76 missing children in the last 3 months @CPDelhi@LtGovDelhi@PMOIndia@HMOIndia#WearAMask#SocialDistancing#WashYourHandspic.twitter.com/NvX54FA0a6— #DilKiPolice Delhi Police (@DelhiPolice) November 18, 2020
According to the official statement, the new incentive scheme came into effect on August 5. "In order to motivate the police personnel to trace or recover the children, who have gone missing from their home, the Commissioner of Police issued an incentive scheme on 5th August' 2020 to the effect that ...any Constable/Head Constable who recovers 50 or more missing children below the age of 14 years (15 children out of them of the age group less than 08 years) within a period of 12 calendar months will be considered for the grant of out of turn promotion"."
"The order order has brought a sea change in tracing or recovery of missing children and more and more children have been traced since August' 2020," the statement read, stressing that "by recovering the children, the police has not only brought back joy in the aggrieved families, but also prevented a young impressionable mind to be misused or exploited for undesirable activities