Steel and lace. That’s what Kanchan Choudhry Bhattacharya, the first lady Director General of Police (DGP), Uttaranchal, and the highest-ranking lady police officer in the country is often described as.
Steel and lace. That’s what Kanchan Choudhry Bhattacharya, the first lady Director General of Police (DGP), Uttaranchal, and the highest-ranking lady police officer in the country is often described as. The inspiration behind the TV serial ‘Udaan’, incidentally made by her sister Kavita Choudhry, the DGP remains rooted in reality while flying high.
Values imbibed in the formative years last a lifetime
My childhood was not very secure. My dad had a stepmother who didn’t treat us well; we were thrown out of the house. But I had gorgeous parents with strong values and even though they struggled for some time to make ends meet, they did not compromise on their principles. My dad was offered a liquor agency but he said he would not bring up his children with that kind of money. Their integrity, which I inherited, has stayed with me always. I also learnt to empathise more with the downtrodden.
A woman can be a woman and be a cop
Why can’t a woman be a woman and be a cop? I’ve lived by the belief that you can! I never thought I didn’t fit the mould because I’m a woman. It did follow that as a woman officer; you’re expected to prove yourself doubly. But soon you are judged for what you are. There are two aspects to it – first you work hard and second, society is not so bad. In fact, a fuss is made if you’re a good woman police officer whereas a male officer wouldn’t be made much of. But one has to take it as it comes and not allow it to impact you.
I remember the first time I visited a police station after my posting. I went and sat sternly and didn’t even smile. That was not natural for me. I became my own self very soon because I am who I am. Another time as an Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), I remember a reserve inspector saying, ‘We’ll have a man-to-man talk’. I didn’t know how to react then though I understood the implication. Such incidents have added to my growth, to the process of gaining confidence. I’m called the first woman Director General of Police (and the highest ranking woman police officer in the country) but to me, the woman part is incidental. I see it as an opportunity to bring about change for the better. There are a lot of women closeted in the force; I want to bring them out into the field. I want to improve the lot of not just women police personnel but the police as a whole.
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