International Women’s Day – Women in policing: Breaking barriers & blazing a path
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International Women’s Day – Women in policing: Breaking barriers & blazing a path

March 8, 2023

By Shadan Muneer

International Women’s Day cherishes, celebrates and acknowledges the identity and achievements of women. The sacrifices, acts of courage, selfless compassion and love showered by women every single day of their lives are reiterated to instil faith and spread hope. Over the past decade, women’s role in Indian society has undergone a dramatic and positive transformation.

The number of women participating in every activity has increased significantly even in the Police service which demands long and unpredictable hours in a hostile world. However, they have demonstrated that women are more suited to deal with policing requirements as they are endowed more than men with traits like patience, empathy, tolerance and sacrifice which are essential for democratic policing.  On International Women’s Day today, Mar. 8, Star of Mysore caught up with the most inspiring women leaders from the Mysuru Police force to know about their profession and personal life.

Seema Latkar – Superintendent of Police

My motto is to bridge gap between Police and public

Seema Latkar is a 2011 batch IPS Officer who had earlier served as DCP – Law and Order, Assistant Inspector General of Police – Crime, Anti-Terrorist Cell and CID in Bengaluru.

She studied at Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, a residential school, which brought in a lot of discipline that shaped her personality. She completed her Master’s in Computer Science. She has two daughters with her husband working as Vice-President at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Seema is passionate about photography and enjoys playing sitar.

Star of Mysore (SOM): Tell us  about your journey and your inspirational career growth.

Seema Latkar: The foundation came from my schooling days when discipline and a sense of responsibility were instilled in me. My parents were the driving force behind my academic excellence and inspired me to become independent.

Public service always motivated me and getting a chance was sheer luck. My tenure of more than 3 years as DCP – Law and Order in Belagavi was exceptionally satisfying and rewarding as I gained huge experience in policing as AIGP – Crime. So far, I have enjoyed every bit of my journey.

SOM: How does it feel to be one of a few women top Cops? Was it difficult for you to break the glass ceiling?

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Seema: It gives me the pride to serve areas concerning women, children and deprived sections of society and when the outcome is positive, it gives you a sense of satisfaction. Whereas breaking the glass ceiling is concerned, fortunately, it wasn’t difficult. Overall, it’s a completely different scenario compared to earlier times. Today, their societal role has undergone a positive transformation and is on par with men.

SOM: Do you face any challenges in your profession?

Seema: Challenges are part of every profession. Serving in a sensitive district of Mysuru, especially with the upcoming elections, is challenging and at times long, stressful and unpredictable working hours. It is not easy but we need to accept the nature of our job.

Rural policing is different from urban and metropolitan policing with regard to the nature of crime, law and order. However, Mysuru has special features which require a different approach and style of functioning. At the end of the day, the sense of satisfaction with regard to your work makes it worth it. Whereas gender disparity, once I don the uniform, I have never experienced any. People have become more accepting now.

SOM: How do you instil confidence in women to come out and report crimes against them?

Seema: My motto is to build a bridge between Police and public. Instilling confidence in women must start at an early age; parents and teachers must play an important role in building up confidence in a little girl so that she doesn’t suffer crimes. Women must come forward and talk to us. There are several laws for women against crimes. We are always there to help them. We conduct awareness programmes in schools and colleges and educate them about their rights.

SOM: Late working hours are getting common and women travel alone late. What safety measures are being taken to make Mysuru safe?

Seema: We have separate patrolling for women’s safety that takes care of it and emergency helpline number 112 has evoked a positive response. Women can definitely reach out to 112 in case of emergencies and help is on its way. Proper streetlights also adds to their safety. Industries arrange transport for women employees which is a boon.

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SOM: Cybercrimes are also becoming common.

Seema: Cybercrime and social media are borderless having international ramifications at times. Having worked in State Police Headquarters has helped me understand handling such crimes. Awareness, training and educating masses, especially senior citizens about fintech internet banking are important. Reporting without delay is a key factor.

SOM: Would you encourage more women to join the Police force?

Seema: Definitely yes. There is a lot of scope and 33 percent reservation. Women joining the Police is also crucial for society as they are more suited to deal with the requirements of womenfolk and children. It also becomes a bit easier for women to open up and share their problems with women Police.

SOM: Being a woman boss is not easy to balance work and family. How do you strike a balance? What are your other interests?

Seema: Like every working mother I too sometimes feel guilty for not devoting enough time to my family but I am blessed to have a supportive family that understands my profession and have adjusted themselves. This helps me give my 100 percent for my profession.

My family is my major stress-buster and I am passionate about photography and enjoy playing sitar. I am also a fitness enthusiast and make sure to indulge in physical activity every day and advise my officers too to stay fit.

SOM: What message would you like to give to the women of today?

Seema: Life is full of opportunities; you must come out of your comfort zone and explore and identify your strengths and potentials and work on them. Having an aim in life and becoming self-sufficient is very important. There is something special about women who dominate in a man’s world, it takes a certain amount of grace, strength,  intelligence and fearlessness.

Also Read:

Women have accomplished every unexplored bastion: S. Jahnavi, DCP – Crime and Traffic

Women are dexterous and born multi-taskers: Dr. B.N. Nandini, Additional Superintendent of Police

2 COMMENTS ON THIS POST To “International Women’s Day – Women in policing: Breaking barriers & blazing a path”

  1. Shantala says:

    She has 2 wonderful role models: Rohinin Sinshuri, the DC and Roopa Moudgil the police official!

  2. Tara says:

    Where is this woman columnist Girija Madhavan these days?
    I was expecting her yet another attention-seeking article about her being the wife of an Indian ambassador, nmarrating her experiences in foreign lands!

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