As Punjab Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann presented job letters to 251 young people hired by different government ministries on Friday, a young woman among them claimed to be the first in her area to pursue a BTech. The woman said that although her father pushed her and her sister to pursue their dreams, girls in her village were not encouraged to pursue higher education.
“When you go back to your village, tell the villagers that daughters too can do wonders,” said a moved Mann to her. The daughters are undoubtedly making a huge impact in Punjab; they are shattering prejudices and glass ceilings and inspiring countless others to follow their goals. Take an example of this: Of Punjab’s twenty-three districts, ten now have female Deputy Commissioners (DCs), and four more have female district police commanders. Another Punjabi woman in the Indian Police Service (IPS) is the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) at Chandigarh, the joint capital.
Punjab is the ancestral home of at least eight of these female officers. Although Ravjot Grewal, the SSP of Fatehgarh Sahib, hails from Patiala, Muktsar DC Fazilka DC Senu Kapila Duggal is from Ludhiana, Ruhee Dugg is from Jalandhar, and her counterpart from Malerkotla is from Bathinda. Punjab provides the origins of Khanna SSP Amneet Kondal, Patiala DC Sakshi Sawhney, Fatehgarh Sahib DC Parneet Shergill, and Barnala DC Poonamdeep.
The wide range of educational backgrounds exhibited by these female officers frequently affects their administrative judgments.
As Maletkotla DC Before entering the government service, Dr. Pallavi completed her MBBS studies at Government Medical College Amritsar, whereas Dr. Ruhee Dugg of Muktsar DC attended Government Medical College Faridkot. In a similar vein, Ropar DC Dr. Preeti Yadav is an IAS official from the 2014 batch who also studied dentistry in Rajasthan, as is dentist Fatehgarh Sahib SSP Ravjot Grewal.
Several female commanders also take great pride in their impressive academic records. For example, DC Surabhi Malik, the first woman in Ludhiana, graduated with a master’s degree in economics from the London School of Economics. DC Fazilka Senu Kapila Duggal has won numerous gold medals during her scholastic career.
The backgrounds of officers like Hoshiarpur DC Komal Mittal, Barnala DC Poonamdeep Kaur, Patiala DC Sakshi Sawney, and Mohali DC Ashika Jain include business administration, law, and public administration.
Remarkably, nine out of the ten DCs are assigned to the Malwa area, where female DCs lead the districts that border Chandigarh, including Mohali, Patiala, Ropar, and Fatehgarh Sahib.
Earlier this year, during the worst floods the state had seen in decades, these officers were leading the charge.
Mohali DC IAS officer Ashika Jain, a 2015 batch member, oversaw the plans against the raging waves while her one-year-old was kept waiting in her official vehicle. Patiala DC’s circumstances were comparable. Sakshi Sawhney, the 2014 IAS batch’s AIR 6 winner. With its female DC, Parneet Shergill, and SSP, Dr. Ravjot Grewal, Fatehgarh Sahib is distinct. Amidst the floods, Shergill—known for her strict discipline—led administration officials from the front, but Dr. Grewal was instrumental in breaking up an interstate drug gang earlier this year by seizing a record number of illegal tablets.
The state’s campaign against narcotics is something that women SSPs are extremely proud of. While Kapurthala SSP Vatsala Gupta, a 2016 batch IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh, claims her concentration is on the war against drugs in her police area, Khanna SSP Amneet Kondal, a 2012 batch IPS officer with a degree in psychology, focuses on controlling drug concerns while delivering counselling.