For These Delhi Cops, Crushing Patriarchy Begins At Home

2019 International Women's Day: The three women officers said the police department is working towards ensuring that women can walk freely on Delhi roads, irrespective of which hour of the day they are stepping out.

 Share
EMAIL
PRINT
COMMENTS
For These Delhi Cops, Crushing Patriarchy Begins At Home

Vijayanta Arya, a 2009-batch IPS officer serving as DCP of Northwest district, is a mother of two boys.


New Delhi: 

For three women officers of Delhi Police, shattering the norms of patriarchy and achieving gender equality begin at home.

Deputy commissioners of police Vijayanta Arya, Monika Bharadwaj and Nupur Prasad say they are teaching their children that cooking is as much a man's job as it is of a woman.

Ms Arya, a 2009-batch IPS officer serving as the DCP of Northwest district, is a mother of two boys, aged six and four. She said she will try to "de-pink and de-blue" her sons on this Women's Day.

"I tell my children that blue is not for boys and pink is not for girls. I am trying to de-blue and de-pink them in a lot of ways. Because by the time they grow up, the roles would be more unisexual in nature.

"I want them to grow up to become men who are fit for society and not 'misterfits' or 'misfits'," Ms Arya told news agency PTI.

Ms Bhardwaj has four siblings - two sisters and two brothers. She said her parents never differentiated between them.

"My brothers do not mind doing stuff that is traditionally done by girls. I will teach the same thing to my children. They know they have a mother who is a police officer and is in a very masculine job and if I can do that, there is no harm in them doing the girls' thing," she said.

Ms Bhardwaj is a mother to twin boys, aged two-and-a-half. Her father is a Delhi Police inspector.

She said she knew her work would not allow her much time for her children.

"I do feel that I am not able to give what is due to them. Whenever I have time, I ensure I spend my time at home and I don't go shopping or visit a relative. In the night, when I get back, I get a couple of hours with them. In morning, when I leave, I see them sleeping," she said.

Ms Prasad, a 2007-batch IPS officer serving as DCP (North), said her parents allowed her to fix electricity plugs in their home while her brothers would manage kitchen.

"I will bring up my daughters that way. They should know how to play football, how to jump a wall and how to cook. It is important how you raise your kids to be an independent individual," she said.

Ms Arya and Ms Prasad are married to police officers, which, they feel, is an advantage since they understand the "rigours of the job". 

Ms Bhardwaj is married to a civilian.

"I have the overall responsibility of managing my house with my spouse sharing a large bit of responsibility. Since he is in the same profession, he understands the constraints," said Ms Arya, who is married to Devender Arya, DCP (Southwest).

Ms Bhardwaj, too, said she is lucky to have married someone who "is a very balanced human being", thanks to his mother, who taught him gender-equality.

"I joined service before we got married. He was aware how it will be. He had no issue with it and that is one of the reasons I married to him. He was with me in school and his mother has had a huge role to play in making him a balanced human being," the DU alumnus said.

Talking about her work, Ms Arya said she does not feel she is discriminated against because of her gender.

"I have been really motivated by the kind of response I have got from my seniors and teammates. In fact, my gender gives me an advantage if I do good work; my work ends up getting more appreciation than my male counterparts," she said.

e0f3nqdg

Nupur Prasad, a 2007-batch IPS officer serving as DCP (North), said her parents allowed her to fix electricity plugs in their home while her brothers would manage kitchen.

Ms Prasad concurred with her.

"We have been trusted and given responsibilities. I thank the women predecessors for the groundwork they have done. People do not question us and they don't think twice before giving us responsibility," she said.

However, Ms Bhardwaj, the only woman to have served in the West district after Kiran Bedi in 1980, said there is more performance pressure on women officers as "all eyes are" on them.

"I joined after the Nirbhaya gangrape case (in 2012). People were a lot more sensitised by that time, especially in Delhi Police; there were no sexist barbs that I faced. But I felt people were keenly observing my performance. I felt I was being observed more because I came from the outside segment," the 2009-batch IPS officer said.

Do they rue any limitation that comes with their job?

Ms Prasad said she would have liked to have been a full-time mother to her children.

"I used to read a lot but after my daughters were born, I do not have time for anything. Now I have two jobs, one is fulfilling my office responsibilities and the other being a mother.

"Motherhood is my hobby. My daughters, who are aged five and three-and-a-half, have adjusted me and my husband in their lives, instead of us making adjustments according to their schedules," said Ms Prasad, who is married to 2007-batch IPS officer Surender Kumar.

And what about being officers in a city often called "unsafe" for women?

The three women officers said the police department is working towards ensuring that women can walk freely on roads, irrespective of which hour of the day they are stepping out.

Ms Prasad, whose stint with Delhi began with JNU, said when she was studying there and would use public transport to commute, she never came across any unpleasant experience.

"I have never encountered such a situation. May be because I travelled in the university area. There is an environment of freedom in JNU... That kind of public security should be there," she added.

Ms Arya said criminals feel emboldened in Delhi because of the 'anonymity' factor.

"It is the national capital, it is a business hub. There is a lot of migrant population that is moving in and out of the city. That anonymity gives a certain kind of confidence to people who think they can commit crime and get away," she added. 

She said she never wanted to be in a big city and always enjoyed smaller, close-knit spaces, coming from a place like Nabha, Punjab. 

But destiny had other plans for her. 

NDTV Beeps - your daily newsletter

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................

................................ Advertisement ................................