This is a story of Dr. Arti Singh who was a doctor by profession and was forced to changed her mind to go for Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) due to the questions of Mothers raised regarding gender discrimination perturbed and surprised her a lot.
Dr. Arti Singh was born in the state of Uttar Pradesh. As she never came across such gender discrimination, inequality and male dominance despite growing up in the rural sector of Mirzapur. But when questions were raised from mothers after delivery of their babies that made her shocked and surprised in the hospital where she was working in a progressive city of Varanasi. Especially there were cases of gender discrimination, whether it is a boy or a girl?
She was not scared by these gender disclination questions. She could answer these questions intelligently. But she felt these questions regarding gender discrimination can only be solved as Indian Police service (IPS) officer and not as a doctor.
These questions disturbed and shocked her a lot.
How can mothers ask such type of questions? She used to think, that in the olden days such issues were most common about father in-law and mother-in-law who used to ask the doctor before birth whether it is girl or a boy child.
But now times have changed but the mindset of the people regarding the gender of the child is just the same. It has still not changed and it is still in existence at some communities which still believe in old customs.
She thought that it was really repulsive to behave in such a manner.
How can mothers who have given birth to children can ask such type of questions about gender discrimination?
She was forced to leave medical field to become IPS officer so as to enable her to fight for the rights of women as she wanted to change the fate of all new-born girls in the society. She was successful in tackling all kinds of situations and proved herself also that Women are not scared and they can face any situations in life.
It is just a matter of thought that is still stuck inside the minds of the people since years that women cannot successfully handle difficult tasks.
She proved herself regarding issue of gender discrimination with her hard work, dedication, determination and passion for her work that helped her to reach the goal so as to ensure that girl children are accepted by the society.
It was early morning and Dr. Arti Singh left her house and sat in the car and in sometime she reached at the Indian Institute of Medical Science Bureau at Varanasi and entered the hospital and went inside her cabin. Then she sat on her chair. Her secretary Ruby had seen Dr. Arti coming inside so she sent tea for her inside her cabin. She was in charge of handling gynae ward. After drinking strong tea, she called her secretary Ruby and then Dr. Arti Singh asked her about the Schedule of the appointments for the patients for today.
Ruby informed the Doctor that today there are 5 patients for delivery as per the appointment chart which have different time slots. By the time Doctor saw the appointments regarding all the cases she had for the day.
Suddenly, a patient entered inside the hospital for her delivery. Then the nurse called and informed Dr. Arti Singh that the first patient for delivery has arrived. She is having severe pain in the stomach that she could not bear. Then the nurse asked the doctor what should she do?
Dr. Arti Singh told the nurse to take her to the gynaec ward and give her some pain killer for some time so that her pain gets reduced till she checks her condition. Then the Doctor told that nurse also to check whether her BP and Diabetes are in control.
The nurse told the doctor that both are under control.
After checking every report prepared by the nurse Dr. Arti felt that everything is fine except normal delivery is not possible due to advanced age and she has no other option, but has to do operational delivery of the patient than normal delivery.
Then the family of the patient was asked to read, fill and sign the form for conformation about operational delivery so that she can start the preparation in the operation theatre.
Dr. Arti and the nurse who was handling this case went to operation theatre for preparation.
After all arrangements were thoroughly made of the patient for the operation. Then the patient was taken urgently to the operation theatre for delivery. Then the operation of the patient started and it lasted for few hours. The operation was successful; but then the patient was unconscious for some time.
Then the doctor told the nurse to inform the family members that the child and mother both are in good state.
As the patient was unconscious for some hrs.
After sometime Doctor had come to visit the patient to check her health. After examining the patient the doctor noticed that the patient is still unconscious.
After few hours again doctor came for the check-up of the patient.
Due to operation she had still not become conscious because her delivery was little complicated so she had to undergo operation.
Now again Doctor visited the patient to check her health status as the patient was unconscious.
Atlast the patient now became conscious and she was alright. The patient thanked the doctor for making her delivery successful even though there was complication.
But as She was conscious and fine she did not feel necessary to even inquire about the health of her child but her first priority was the only question that was set in her mind that…
"What is the gender of my child which I have delivered?"
"Is it a boy or a girl? instead of asking "how is the health of my child.?"
Dr. Arti Singh was surprised and shocked to hear this statement in a developed and progressive city of Varanasi instead of questioning regarding the health of the child the mother is just inquiring the sex of the child "Is it boy or a girl"?
So, she was shocked to hear these types of questions which used to come regularly in the hospital regarding gender discrimination.
She handled this type of question intelligently and told the mother that sex is not at all important but the baby's health is most important than anything else. why don't you understand?
But the patient was adamant and did not want to understand.
As all these type of questions used to perturb her daily what the mothers of the child used to ask her.
She wanted to stop this type of thinking regarding mothers of the new born children. She used to become thoughtful and wanted to do something and also wanted to research and find out the reason behind this question.
But still she could not even understand what was the reason behind asking these questions. She used to think that even a girl can fulfil her wish and execute her goal.
She wanted to go deep inside this issue and wanted to know the reason behind this question why the mother wanted "a boy and not a girl."?
Then she found out from the families that "One of the main reasons for wanting a boy in the family was that they were not worried about the safety of the boy. But if the child is a girl then most of the parents in the family used to think that this society is not at all safe for girls and felt that marriage is the only way to ensure safety of the girl and this thinking brings to the issues like dowry and child marriage. "But Dr. Arti Singh thought that these are not the only solutions for the girls. Child marriage and dowry are illegal and not advisable for the girls.
She has to be strong and try to protect herself from the issues that are going in the society even after many years.
She also felt it is essential that she should also become self-reliant so that even after her marriage she is not dependant on her husband. She can find shelter for herself by becoming self -dependent and can earn a living.
Series Part 2
To tackle this major issue she wanted to try to change the thoughts and perspectives of the people which were stuck in the mind of the people since many years.
Dr. Arti Singh made this decision to leave her profession as a doctor and decided to join Union Public Service Commission, Civil Examination and when she was preparing for her examination in her room. At that time neighbours and many relatives turned up at her house and stared asking questions to her parents. Still how much will your daughter study ? "This is the right age to get her married."
"How much is she going to still study now ? " Then how will she get a suitable boy for her marriage" ?
Instead of getting her married, "why are they encouraging and allowing her for further studies?"
Her parents had to pass through these unnecessary questions several times which parents normally face only in the girls house .Parents did not understand why they insisted on asking such types of questions.
But my father answered these questions intelligently and reasonably and also satisfied them for my further studies.
My parents had full faith in me and their wish in life was that I" should fulfill everything according to my wish whatever I want " as my father was unable to fulfil his wish whatever he wanted at that time.
Due to my parents' support I was able to take risk and became capable of everything I had thought off.
" Now whether it is risk of going away from home or for studies or even changing my field.
Without any fear I appeared for Union Public Service Commission exam.
Series Part 3
After hard work and dedication for 2 years I passed the the Union Public Service Commission, Civil Service Examination (UPSC CSE) exam. I was forced to change my career from Doctor to Indian Police Service without any fear.
My aim was to the change the thoughts in the minds of people and to eliminate gender discrimination and also change fate of all the new-born girls in the society who have to face these difficulties.
She thought Girls can also handle every task."
At The Red Corridor
As when I was told that some men, including women officers, had also refused to go to Naxal-affected area; but I did not panic. I was ready to go there without any fear "
This is an area where police-Naxal encounters were common.
Whether it was subordinate employees or senior officers, everyone was surprised to see Arti Singh at the Red Corridor and they asked her "are you not afraid to come here?" She said "no I am not afraid
I can handle every situation."
At the time of my posting, my situation there was too bad.
When elections were to be held in the state and at that time at the Centre. The Naxals warned the villagers against voting and 17 policemen who were already killed there by the Naxalites before I had joined.
I was never afraid about Transfer in the Police Department.
When I got an opportunity in the Naxal affected district of Maharashtra Gadchiroli. I grabbed it.
I was never weak. I was always strong to handle these types of situations. brilliantly.
I faced all the challenges and consequences resolutely. Taking the challenge head-on, I not only ensured smooth execution of the elections but also recovered arms and ammunition.
However, at the time I was posted the situation was tougher for me but I did not step backward and handled the situations intelligently.
Series Part 4
when I was posted in the remotest region of Gadchiroli where there was only one road that led to the police station. During the monsoon season, the bridge used to shut down, making the outside world, telephones, electricity and even newspapers were inaccessible. Working in such type of conditions was not that easy for me where we were getting constant threats and maintaining law and order was too tough for me, but this also I could handle with ease.
I stayed in that region for three years and executed my duties efficiently.
For my efficient services I was felicitated by both, the State and Central governments,
My family felt proud that when I was honoured by The Director General's office who gave the most prestigious DG Insignia award that is generally given to the police department only after 15 years of service but I got this award much earlier than15 years for my efficient work.
I had been posted across four districts of Maharashtra. I was appointed as the new superintendent of police, at Nashik (Rural) area.
Then I was promoted to the rank of DIG, and after sometime I was posted in Amravati as the city Police Commissioner.
I became the only woman commissioner of police in the city when I took over the charge of Amravati city after being promoted to the rank of DIG. Firebrand Singh, I was often known as 'woman Singham' of Maharashtra police.
I now aim to make Amravati city free of street crimes, and a safe for traders and women and people in general.
There were 35 police Commissionerate's across the country in various states, but in Vidarbha's Amravati I was the only woman to become the commissioner of police.
"This unique opportunity and honour knocked at my door due to the progressive policies of the home department of Maharashtra government, the DG office and others, who gave me the opportunity to serve as Commissioner of police,"
"It also signifies a change in the mindset against placing a woman in an independent unit. Many still do not believe that a woman at the top can handle the responsibility in Amravati city. I was handling a force of around 2,500 constabulary and officers,"
Series Part 5
When I was posted as the Superintendent of Police, a journalist stated that "I did not expect too much from you" But in the course of my job, despite the hardships and risks faced by me regarding all the challenges, but I never backed down and pledged that I will stop such type of remarks that journalists used to state.
I showed people that I loved my job too much. These are some small but important milestones along my way, which continued to inspire me to move forward.
In Malegaon, during Covid 19 a highly vulnerable area due to communal tension, had recorded over 1 lakh Covid cases. At the same time, this city of 7.5 lakh population, famous for textiles, was also battling the transition of discrimination of religion.
I Arti Singh (Police Commissioner) was sent for two months to maintain law and order in the city and control the situation of corona virus.
I had to often stay away from my family due to my demanding job. I had faced enough challenges at my workplace and the question often reminded me that a female officer is not as good as a male counterpart.
"After many policemen got infected with that virus, everyone else including many subordinates in my team also lost their morale. We made sure that people stay only indoors.
I tried to understand the reality at that time as a doctor, rather than as an IPS officer.
I had to ban all the forwarded messages from WhatsApp and Tiktok for maintaining religious harmony.
I spoke to the religious leaders to dispel all the myths regarding spreading of the virus.
I also arrested many people who were spreading rumours in the city.
Apart from this, I did another important work that I got the power looms restarted as the jobs of most of the people in Malegaon depended on it.
Malegaon's recovery rate was 82 per cent at that time and the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) asked the state government to study the 'Malegaon model'.
My tireless effort to control the rapidly increasing cases of corona virus in India has also received praise and recognition from the government.
"What made my job satisfying was ..."
"The same journalist noticed and his statement changed after some years who used to speak that I do not expect much from you who suddenly met me after the resolution of the pandemic at Malegaon and said that "the way I acted, no one else could have curbed this virus in such a way "
This change in mindset is what I was here for. I was happy to hear this change of statement from him. As far as gaining trust "my work and experience only says everything."
"It has never been easy for me to be away from my family. That's the only thing I had to deal with." I had once succeeded in solving a cyber-crime and getting back the money that had been deceived to a family. On getting the money back, the family had tears in their eyes and the people around thanked me for this massive work.
People were grateful and thankful to me for my struggle. I had solved cybercrime issues of the people and I had also received lots of blessings from the people.
"This is another instance, where my team and me reunited a kidnapped 3-year-old girl was returned to her parents within two days, and the next day we noticed that people were marching into the police station to thank us.
I had received blessings from lots of people who were proud of my work which I had completed for them.
She is a perfect example of woman Empowerment. She proved herself whatever she had pledged and fulfilled her wish to bring solution regarding gender discrimination and changed the thoughts in the minds of the people. It was just a matter of thought and not gender discrimination.
After 75 years of Independence also thoughts in the minds of people regarding gender discrimination have still not changed in the society.
This is a big issue which still appears at major states.