Kiran Bedi, born on June 9 1949 in Amritsar Punjab, was the first lady officer to clear the Indian Police service exam. She joined the elite IPS force in 1972. Before she retired from the police force in December 2007, she held the post of Director General at the Bureau of Police Research and Development. She was part of the Indian Police Force for 35 years and was well known for her tough policing, which had a strong social element to it. During her stint in Tihar Jail as the Inspector General of Prisons she ensured that prison reforms were carried out strenuously and encouraged yoga, vipasanna, and other social welfare problems to be instituted in the prisons.
She has also worked with the United Nations and was the Police Advisor to the Secretary General and supported the UN on peace keeping operations. For her efforts she was lauded with a UN medal in 2004 and has represented India on many international forums. Drug abuse, women's welfare, domestic violence have been areas where Bedi has worked dedicately and her advice on these issues has been hailed as rational and progressive. Her show "Aap Ki Kachehri", broadcast on Star Plus, was a show where several families, women, etc sought legal advice from Bedi. Through the show not only did she help the average lower and middle class families understand law, she also ensured that family disputes were solved in a manner that appealed to both parties.
Bedi has established two NGO's Navjyoti and India Vision foundation which reach out to over 10,000 beneficiaries daily, in the areas of drug abuse treatment, schooling for children of prisoners, in addition to education, training, counseling, and health care to the urban and rural poor.
She has also been a National and an Asian Tennis champion.
Bedi has won several awards to her credit.
• In 1979, she was given the Police Medal for Gallantry.
• The Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Solidarity Woman-of-the-Year Award in 1980 and in 1982.
• Both the Distinguished Woman Award given by Banaras Hindu University and the Shiromani Award.
• The International Organization of Good Templars (a Norwegian organization) presented her with the Asia Region Award for her work in the field of drug prevention, and the National Award for Outstanding Service by a Government Official in 1989-91.
• She received an award for outstanding contribution to the Asia-Pacific Conference and the International Association of Chiefs of Police in 1992. In addition, she was awarded a Nehru Fellowship (from the Jawaharlal Nehru Memorial Fund) in support of her innovative and humane management at Tihar Prison.
Bedi was the recipient of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994, for her reform efforts of the Tihar Jail prison. Dr Bedi is an author of several books, anchors radio and television shows and is a columnist with leading newspapers and magazines. She is a sought after speaker on social, professional and leadership issues. Currently she is spearheading the campaign against corruption with Anna Hazare and other civil society leaders.
Updated Date: Aug 22, 2011 10:33:06 IST