Kerala’s first woman IPS officer, R. Sreelekha, who retired on Saturday, said that women police officers in the state face a tough time while on duty.
Sreelekha addressed this issue, among others, while speaking to a vernacular TV channel.
She had retired as the Director General of Police, Fire and Rescue Services, in December 2020.
A 1987 batch IPS officer, Sreelekha was instrumental in paving the way for several woman IPS officers, a domain which was predominantly occupied by men.
Her first posting was as Assistant Commissioner of Police in Alappuzha district.
She narrated how a junior woman police officer came to her and confided about being harassed by a senior officer.
“Since I was a woman, she confided in me and I called up the officer concerned and told him that since I have asked this woman to be with me, she will not be in a position to meet him. I said this because through my statement, he will realise that I know what’s happening,” she said.
Speaking about her own problems, Sreelekha said that during the first 10 years of her service, she faced a tough time because of being a woman.
“I knew that had I been a male officer, I would not have undergone such hardships. At one point of time, I even thought of quitting the service,” she said.
She has served as the District Superintendent of Police in Palakkad, Alappuzha and Thrissur districts.
Sreelekha, while serving as the Director General of Prisons, had made several reforms in the state jail department and was instrumental in bringing many new schemes and projects for the welfare of the prisoners.
An avid writer, she has made her mark in the literary field by penning poems and articles in Malayalam periodicals and newspapers.
She also served in the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for five years, and as the Transport Commissioner she was instrumental in reducing road accidents in the state and is still considered as one of the best Transport Commissioners whose tenure led to the maximum collection of fines by the department.
She conducted the first-ever road safety hackathon in Kerala with the help of IT professionals.