Personal trauma inspired these cops

Personal trauma inspired these cops

Vadodara: Chandrika Patel (name changed) was married off when she was just in class VII. The marriage was traumatic as she was constantly subjected to abuses from her in-laws and her husband constantly made her feel inferior.

Instead of giving up, Chandrika took up studies secretly and went on to complete HSC. Later, when she learnt that she was eligible for applying in police training school, she applied. Now, she is all set become the guardian of law as a police constable.

Chandrika is one among at least 10 such women of the total 850 who will begin their policing career from March 14 after completing their training at the PTS in Lalbaug. Many of Chandrika’s colleagues have suffered the same fate as hers — exploitation, domestic violence and child marriage — which inspired them to join police force so that other women do not have undergo the same trauma. These 850 women will join as police constables.

Another trainee Priyanka Rathwa (name changed) was married off when she was only 15 because of her family’s poor financial condition. In few years, she also had a child. Rathwa had to undergo several struggles at a tender age but she did not think again when applications for trainees in the PTS were invited. While Rathwa and Patel had to go through child marriage, Sonia Vasava (name changed) and her mother were subjected to violence from her father at a very young age. After her parents separated, Vasava witnessed how her mother was sexually exploited by the landlord where her mother worked as a farm labourer.

“By joining police force, we not only wanted to prove ourselves but also want that women from a rural background like us do not have to suffer. And even if they suffer, we want to ensure that they get justice since we too have experienced the negative side of the society and we know how difficult it is,” said one of the trainees while talking at women’s day function at PTS.

“When these 10 trainees talked about their hardships and their goals, it will inspire their colleagues and they will also have a different perception when a victim will approach them in the police station,” said Dr Nisha Sengar, assistant professor from Mahatma Gandhi Labour Institute in Ahmedabad, who taught a module on gender sensitization to these trainees.