Over the decades I’ve seen police officers who’ve faced enormous challenges on the ground and because of their remarkable sense of balance, boldness and fairness have overcome crisis. One such officer I spoke to last week is this dynamic woman, Dr Arti Singh, a 2006 batch Indian Police Service officer, and superintendent of police for Nashik rural in Maharashtra state.
As the Covid-19 crisis ravaged the historic city of Malegaon, the toll in this power loom hub rose sharply. Singh, the first woman IPS officer in Nashik district (she was also the first woman IPS in militancy-hit Gadchiroli district in the state), decided to camp there.
She told me over the phone of the two months – April and May – she spent there, walking around for miles, interacting with men and women and convincing them to take precautionary measures. She also assured her constables, 250 of who were infected with Covid and 40 were in hospital that they would recover soon.
She worked closely with the maulanas ordinary citizens and local leaders and ensured that the once bustling, but impoverished city overcame the crisis. Hats off to such dedicated officers.
Pune, Maharashtra, India
July 26, 2020