An Evening with Kiran Bedi

Youth Section
"The Dynamos of progress"

An Evening with Kiran Bedi

Bhumika Raina

Some people have the power to make a difference and she definitely is one of them.
I had heard her in the media, read about her in books and from people but meeting her in person made me more certain that she is an amazing personality with a positive aura and immense capacity to inspire people.

It was a Sunday, 3rd Oct 2004 at Wilde Auditorium in Hartford-Connecticut, where Kiran Bedi was welcomed on behalf of a women's group SNEHA, to make a difference in people's life. I went with an excitement of meeting and knowing her more. Many people gathered outside the auditorium to meet her. She entered the room with grace and a beautiful smile, wearing grey half sleeve coat over a black full sleeve shirt with grey pants and black shoes. She is ready all the time, be her career or such occasions. Everyone around got a chance to interact and click pictures with her. I did the same, purchased a book authored by her "I DARE" and requested her to sign it up for me. She was available to everyone with a welcoming smile and warmth.

She received many compliments from guests gathered in the conference. One of the guests, an American delegate, inquired about the meaning of the word "KIRAN”, Kiran replied "SUN RAYS". She noted it down and later commented in her welcoming speech for Kiran, that she knows why it is shinning today because "KIRAN" is here. Indeed, some people have the capability to turn around the atmosphere into warmth and compassion.

The Guest speakers spoke about Kiran's achievements and accolades. Every speech made me more curious to listen to her speech. She was welcomed by Dr.Vohra, a reputed person in the field of POLITICAL SCIENCE; subject mastered by Kiran Bedi and an appropriate person to welcome her. She walked on the podium with vigor, took the mike and moved away from the dais. She wanted to be completely transparent and started the speech by thanking people who invited her for this occasion. She spoke about her family, birth, sisters, schooling, subjects, career and the challenges she faced in her life.

She ventured into a male dominated profession, without doubting her conviction and brought changes in the society and police department. She changed the entire picture of policing by culturing and training people under her. The sales of liquor went down under her supervision and the scene in TIHAR JAIL, world’s largest prison complex changed completely. She was the spearhead in initiating sundry management reforms in the prison, and also introduced many detoxification programs like vipassana; meditation and yoga among prisoner and police officers to help them curb stress.She spoke about her life without pride and with humility and fire of striking the unjust. She faced a lot of challenges and politicians made several attempts to transfer her but could not deter her conviction and all their efforts were futile. Every sentence delivered by her in the speech represented a clear picture of her high standards in morals, education, conviction and conscience. Her speech had depth, gravity and attraction.

She presented a succinct and poignant documentary, out of one of her many social programs, in TIHAR JAIL. Women prisoners, while serving their sentence in Tihar jail could legitimately, take the custody of their child, resulting in the child being a captive with the mother. She considered this situation as a primal case, and benevolently started a program to provide the children with proper food, education, clothes, sanitation and counseling. The children are admitted, later on, to the mainstream schools, where they are provided with good facilities like an appropriate hostel for accommodation and good education. They are given counseling and encouragement to become productive citizens of the society. She also took special attention in listening and adressing the complaints of prisoners and pioneered in founding two NGO’s Navajyoti and India Vision Foundation. Also, for victims who were denied registeration of complaints by police, she created a site and this complaint was followed up by a NGO volunteer to register the case with the concerned area DCG. This discloses a subtle side of Kiran Bedi, a thoughtful, benign and a role model for the society.

After her speech, there was a Question and Answer round. Everyone got a chance to ask his/her questions and thus learn from her. The round was fabulous and she had answers for all. She was questioned about politics, terrorism, education, society and psychology and she had dignified answers to all. Her knowledge and vocabulary is profound and diversified and her answers were terse and to the point. She gave many good suggestions and right on the spot.

One of the students congratulated and requested her to give advice to the present youth. Kiran replied spontaneously, “MAKE YOUR CAREER A CAUSE". This line is concise but complete and self explanatory.

I admire and revere her fearless, resolute and a complete belief in herself. Her prison reform policies, love for challenges and fearless attitude got her acknowledged as a recipient of the RAMON MAGASAYSAY award and as an ambassador of UN.She was deployed at Haiti where she provided solutions in the policing department for the UN.She is also recipient of awards like Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award for her drug abuse policies in UN , mahila shiromani award, president’s gallantry award , women of the year award , Lion of the Year award and many more.

She took Voluntary retirement on 27th November 2007 from her job and government of india relieved her from the post of Director General of Bureau of Police Research and Development to take up new challenges in life. Although we have many valiant police officers like manzil saini and others but her absence is definitely a big loss to Indian police department.

Recent survey in India depicted Shahrukh khan and Aishwariya Rai as the famous role models in India and the disheartening revelation was that there was not an iota of mention of people like Kiran Bedi, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and many more whose selfless service has brought a difference to the society. This deems necessary for us as individuals and as the future generation to choose appropriate role models for ourselves who inspire us to do a lot for others. The essence of life is realized and direction is solidified when we choose appropriate inspirations for ourselves.

We all should be a learner in life and learn from people like KIRAN BEDI and many more selfless individuals that life is way beyond family, career, money and the self. It is more of giving than taking. If we educate our children in their formative years, that giving is everything, and then we can develop into a compassionate society.

So, Lets us learn and be of service to people around us and people in distress.
Let us Dare like KIRAN BEDI to pass hurdles of life and emerge as a winner.

Jai Hind!

*Bhumika Raina is Youth Editor of Shehjar magazine. She was raised in Mumbai, India. She has graduated from New Jersey Institute of Technology in Computer Engineering and is presently working in the IT department at Mass Mutual, MA.

Her passions and interests are Travelling, Spirituality, Reading, Music, History and Creative Writing.

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