The Great Debate (India)

from The Great Debate UK:

Kiran Bedi on being India’s first woman police officer

INDIAOne of India's most recognised faces, Kiran Bedi is India's first woman police officer and has a larger-than-life image in a country where police are mostly perceived as inefficient or corrupt or both.

She was an Asian and national tennis champion before she made it to the Indian

Police Service in 1972. Bedi has worked in traffic and narcotics control, prison management and has also been an adviser for United Nations peacekeeping operations.

As head of Delhi's Tihar jail, one of Asia's largest, she introduced yoga, meditation and literacy classes for prisoners as part of a reform programme that drew global notice. Bedi broke the mould in a country where many women, particularly in the countryside, continue to be discriminated against and harassed. Her life was also partially adapted to create a TV series that became popular on national television.

Reuters interviewed her ahead of International Women's Day.

Q: What influenced your decision early in life to join the police force?

A: "My resolve to grow up to make the difference and be the difference. My upbringing, my education based on personal discipline with sensitivity to gender injustices set the foundation of the choice. The rest is destiny."