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Posted: 13 years ago
Inspirational true life stories are tagged as favorite celebrities for decades. One such well known celebrity around the globe who is recognized for her courage, welfare strategies and tag line 'I Dare' is Kiran Bedi. She dreamt and worked for a better world and she achieved it. Read all about the inspirational icon who has always worn a smile in the battle of life.

Early Life
Kiran Bedi born on 9th June 1949 in Amritsar, as the second of the four daughters to her parents, Prakash Lal Peshawaria and Prem Lata Peshawaria. She completed her schooling and graduation in Arts from her native place itself. She earned a master's degree the following year in Political science from Punjab University. The ardent learner with active service in the Indian Police also acquired a law degree (LLB) from Delhi University. She was also awarded a Ph.D. in 1993 in Social Sciences by the Department of Social Sciences, the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi.

As a child born in a well to do family, Kiran was aware of how special her life was compared to the majority of Indian children. Her parents sacrificed a great deal, so that their daughters could go to the best schools, learn sports, and be exceptional in the male dominated country.

As a teenager Kiran Bedi won Asian women's lawn tennis champion. Recollecting her childhood she sates in one of her interviews, "I came from a sports background where I was the only girl traveling with a batch of 20 boys." After few years she was recognized as the first woman to join the Indian Police service in 1972.

Her Marital Life
Kiran Bedi was determined to choose her own life partner at an early age, as the bitter shades of marital relationship of her elder sister always bid a nightmare to the term called marriage. Shashi her elder sister was a girl next door who dreamt of leading a normal life like any other girl. Sashi got engaged to a Canada-based Indian heart specialist while she was pursuing her Master's degree. The marriage was a disaster as the doctor was already engaged to someone else in Canada. But Shashi could not fight for her marriage but had to succumb to the doctors interest (like bribe) and stay with him for life in an unknown land. This bitter experience increased Kiran's determination to make her own way in her own country.

Kiran Bedi's first serious relationship did not work for long. The basic reasons was that she was strongly career oriented, while he wanted her career to be secondary to his. The second issue was that he wanted a traditional marriage that included a dowry. The brave heart lady was not willing to be domesticated, so she decided to end the relationship. She then met Brij Bedi at the Amritsar tennis courts who shared same interests, beliefs and goals. He was nine years elder to her. They married in 1972 in the most unique marriage ceremony of the yesteryears. Neither of them believed in religious ceremonies, or an expensive marriage ritual. Therefore they went to the Shiva temple and prayed, going around the temple seven times. Then they organized a joint reception paid from their combined earnings.

When Kiran and Brij Bedi learnt that their carers needed special attention both of them decided to lead a separate life by remaining soul companions. Both of them took delight in leading a life that reciprocates growth of an individual. When a far they took the delight in expressing their loneliness, unhappiness, and distance in the form of poetry. This kind of marital arrangement is unconventional in India even till this date. With both parental and marital support, Kiran strived to make a difference around her.

Kiran and Brij had a daughter, Saina, three years after Kiran started her career in the Indian Police Service (IPS). Saina is also involved in community service. She along with her husband Ruzbeh N. Bharucha, (a journalist by profession) produce short films and documentaries.

Her Career
When asked in an interview why did she choose career in Police she promptly replied, " For me policing is not punitive. It always stood for social welfare. But tough welfare. Where I could command welfare, I could demand welfare, and I could produce welfare."

Kiran Bedi began her career as a lecturer in Political Science (1970 -72). She left the post soon after she got selected for the Indian Police Service in the year 1972. In the police service she served in a number of different and challenging assignments that range from Traffic Commissioner of New Delhi, Deputy Inspector General of Police in insurgency prone Mizoram, Advisor to the Lieutanent Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau and also on a United Nationsdeputation.

Kiran Bedi did not fear anybody. For her the law was the same for all, be it the President of India or any commoner. It is said that she once towed the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi car for parking violation who was on tour of United States.

Kiran Bedi also influenced other areas like control of narcotics, traffic management and VIP security. During her transfer to Tihar Jail as the Inspector General of Prison she worked relentlessly to give jailed convicts a new lease of life through meditation and spiritualism. She initiated a number of measures in prison management some of them are yoga, vipassana meditation, and redressing of complaints by prisoners. Her humane and fearless approach has contributed greatly to innumerable innovative policing and prison reforms.

Kiran Bedi has set up two major voluntary organizations called Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation
with the objectives of improving the condition of the drug addicts and the downtrodden. Her organization has been applauded from far and wide. It was also awarded 'Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award' for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations. She has recently been appointed as Director General of India's Bureau of Police Research and Development. Earlier, she was Police Advisor in the United Nations peacekeeping department, and has also been honored with the UN medal for outstanding service.

Her Awards
  • President's Gallantry Award (1979)
  • Women of the Year Award (1980)
  • Asia Region Award for Drug Prevention and Control (1991)
  • Magsaysay Award (1994) for Government Service (also called the Asian Nobel Prize)
  • Mahila Shiromani Award (1995)
  • Father Machismo Humanitarian Award (1995)
  • Lion of the Year (1995)
  • Joseph Beuys Award (1997)
  • Pride of India (1999)
  • Mother Teresa Memorial National Award for Social Justice (2005)

Edited by aamir - 13 years ago

Kiran Bedi

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