Wednesday, 19 June 2019

Kiran Bedi - The Iron Lady

Born on June 9, 1949 in Punjab, Amritsar to parents Prakash Peshawaria and Prem Peshawaria, Kiran Bedi attended the Sacred Heart Convent School where she participated in the national Cadet Corps (NCC). An interest in tennis, alike her made her the winner of the junior national Lawn Tennis Championship in 1966, the Asian Lawn Tennis Championship in 1972 and the All India Interstate Women’s lawn tennis Championship in 1976. Known by the name ‘Crane Bedi’ for towing Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car for parking violation, she showed her dedication to her profession. During her period as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail, she made a number of reforms in the management of the prison. Some of the programs that she initiated include detoxification programs, Art of Living Foundation Prison Courses, Yoga, Vipassana meditation, Murat redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs and she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award and the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship to write about her work in Tihar jail. Her last appointment was of Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development. In May 2005, she was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of her ‘humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing’. Her social acts include setting up of Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) in 1987 along with 17 other police officers. 

The foundation started with a de-addiction and rehabilitation initiative for drug addicts and now the work sphere of this organization has expanded to other issues like illiteracy and women empowerment. In 1994, she also set up India Vision Foundation to bring about police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. Her organizations were awarded the ‘Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award’ for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations. This great lady is also a member of the India Against Corruption (IAC) along with Anna Hazaare and Arvind Kejriwal. Her daughter Saina was born in 1975 and following her mother’s footsteps, she is also involved in social service. And in july 1972 she created history by becoming the first woman to join Indian Police Service.

 In 1987, Kiran Bedi launched an NGO named Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF). This NGO aims at de-addiction and rehabilitation of the drug addicts and has expanded to other social issue like illiteracy and women empowerment. She also started India Vision Foundation in 1994 that has been working for police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. She was also the host of TV programme 'Aap Ki Kachehri' that aimed to resolve the family disputes of citizens. In August 2011, Kiran Bedi joined the India Against Corruption movement led by social activist Anna Hazare. She was a prominent face of the movement along with Arvind Kejriwal but parted ways with him when the latter decided to establish a political party Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). Kiran Bedi is an Indian politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). She is currently the Lieutenant Governor of the union territory of Puducherry.  

Navpreet Kaur


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