Sarah Sharma, IPS
Sarah Sharma, the 2010 batch IPS officer is widely known as a young and versatile cop. After completing her IPS training, she was posted at Bolangir, subsequently SDPO, Aska in Ganjam district.
ASP, Angul for six months during 2014, SP, Deogarh for nearly two years, Principal Police Training Institute for six months, SP, BPSA, SP Gajapati from Feb 2019 and now from 2020 July 14 she has been posted in the vigilance department till continuing.
How did you start your journey to become an IPS officer?
I was born in Brahmapur. My parents used to work at different places. That’s why my mother was in Aska and my father lived in Berhampur. My mother’s job was very shifting due to which I have studied in many schools.
Due to not having English medium school in many places, I mostly studied with my father. My best thing is that I never cheated in studies. As I said earlier, both my parents are working people. So, there was no one to scold or scare me for my studies.
That is why I never felt any pressure from my parents to study. But in order to fulfil the dream of the parents, I used to study dedicatedly. The amount of time I spent studying was honestly done. I used to spend most of my time with books. In class 8th, my mother gave me a book of civil service and wanted to see me as an IPS officer.
Since then my journey to become an IPS started. After completing my MPhil at JNU, Delhi, I joined Raipur Hidayatullah National Law University as an Assistant Professor. After that, I also worked as an assistant professor at KITT Law School.
I had decided to earn from myself after doing M Phil, hence decided to be a professor in colleges rather than depend on my parents. During that time I was also preparing for my civil service. The book and college were just my life.
Originally, I was working hard and I had no contact with the outside world. I did not succeed in UPSC in my first attempt. But in the second attempt, I was successful in every session. I joined as an IPS in the year 2010. Overall I would say, to clear the exam, you need to work hard and should have complete dedication towards your studies.
How was your IPS training period?
The training was very difficult. Physical activity was more difficult than study. We are not usually familiar with things like horse riding, swimming, marathon, wall climbing, river rafting and many adventure sports. So it was a little bit difficult to do this training.
During our training period, we did many activities to overcome our fear. Many times we were unknowingly thrown from the boat, thrown into the river from a stone hike, had to stand for hours, sometimes we were left in the forest for 4 to 5 days, how to manage with small amounts of food in a jungle and how to survive for more days.
During the period of my training, I learn one thing in the training session. Men and women are not different in training. Everyone has to undergo a similar kind of training. Height or injury did not matter.
With this training, we have learned how to be strong in every situation and face the toughest situation easily. Overall I can say IPS Training is difficult for women, but not bigger than their will to achieve their goal.
Where do you find your inspiration?
My mother gave me a civil service book from Standard Eight. That time, I did not know anything about jobs and all this. It was completely unknown to me. My parents, especially my mother, wanted to see me as an IPS officer. Since childhood It is my aim to work for society.
So, from school time, I was very clear that I had to go ahead and to be an IPS officer in the future. So this decision was very helpful in fulfilling my purpose. I also have a weakness for the uniform.
I think a woman in civil uniform looks glamorous and beautiful. So this is the service where everyone needs to be fit. It showed me fitness and as a woman, I can say it makes us more powerful.
What is your biggest achievement so far?
In the crime front, my biggest achievement was the case relating to the murder of a doctor in Sonepur. He was a very famous doctor. News of his death came at 11 pm to me. Sonepur is a very sleepy city. Many people are at home during the night so nobody knows anything.
He was killed while coming back home from his clinic. His body was found in front of his house filled with blood. When I got a call about this at night, I and my team rushed to the scene of the incident.
As he is a very famous doctor, the next day, the doctors association, nurses association and Odisha state medical association came and demanded to resolve the matter in 24 hours.
And they have also warned that if the culprit is not caught within this time, he will protest against the case in the whole of Odisha. This was my first case.
I was in tremendous condition. After 17 hours, we found a search clue. And before 24 hours we were able to catch the main accused. He admitted that he killed the doctor in anger over the bad treatment of his nephew.
He, along with two to four of his friends, carried out the murder in alcoholic addiction. Soon after, within 48 hours, we had caught the three accused.
My second memorable and greatest achievement in the community police is the ‘she team ‘. I started this team as a pilot project at Parlakhemundi police station which comes under Gajapati district without any grant from the government.
It is a dedicated team exclusively for women and girls. We have circulated a 24 x7 phone number during this period. Whenever this team receives a call about violation of any rules and laws, it reaches there immediately. It is very crime preventive.
Through this, instead of coming to the police station and wasting their time, people can resolve their complaint in just one phone call. Many problems have also been solved with her team help.
Our honourable Chief Minister, IPS Association and National Commission for Women also appreciated the formation and work of this ‘she Team’.
Have you felt any discrimination in your job life as a girl?
There is no doubt that discrimination is everywhere. This is a major issue in our society. Many times they think what a female officer can do? A male officer can do it better. We always have to prove ourselves in every situation.
Apparently men get priority and some advantages over women. We have to do double labour as compare to male to prove our business stick to this not to Housework. I also agree that our society is changing over time. And patriotic thinking will change one day.
Many believe that the police job is a masculine service. There are many distinctions in certain ways. But now many girls are joining the civil services, which are helping to make a difference.
People are also giving respect and also accepting girl power. Men or women are recognizing and people are appreciating them according to their work above discrimination.
What do you like to do besides your job life?
I love classical singing. I am a trained classical singer. I have done classical singing classes for five years. Music is my biggest passion. I also like to do exercise and dance. The book is my best friend. Therefore whenever I get some time to read, I mainly read some philosophical books since I love to read about Buddhism.
What is your future goal in your life?
Now I am working as SP- vigilance organisation, Odisha . So, I want to do it dedicatedly. But my long-term goal is to open an orphanage to the needy. That’s because our future will stay there. There will be preparation for a new future. With this I also want to open an old age home.
I always have a soft corner for the people downtrodden people. So, I want to do something for them. I am not saying that I can give more but I always try to help people according to my calibre. I always try to please at least one person in a day.
What would be your message to the people during this Covid-19 pandemic?
I request everyone to take the necessary precautions that have been provided by the government and the World Health Organization (WHO). Be safe and make everyone safe. Do not live thinking that only you and your family will live.
Life is too short so please try to help people based on your ability. Be helpful and trustworthy. Humanity should not disappear these days. Treat people the way you wanted to be treated. Selflessly work for everyone.
Written By Subhra Priyadarshini Kar
Image Source: Google