Bridging the gap

Deccan Chronicle.  | Swati Sharma

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IGP Shikha Goel talks about working in a male-dominated field and how many people don’t trust the police.

Known to be a disciplined bureaucrat, Goel says adjusting to the male-dominated field was not very difficult.

Shikha Goel, Inspector General of Police, says, “Achievements are transient...I would like to see a day when the public can walk into a police station without fear and get their cases registered freely. I wait for the day when the common man sees the police as his friend while only criminals live in fear.”

Known to be a disciplined bureaucrat, Goel says adjusting to the male-dominated field was not very difficult. “By the time I entered, women had been in the IPS for almost 20 years, even if in small numbers. But yes, one has to be hardworking and professionally competent to make a mark,” she says, while adding, “There is definitely greater acceptance of women officers but still, the numbers are less to make a significant impact and change mindsets.”

Married to Vijay Kumar, Deputy Director, Ministry of Home Affairs, Goel has a balanced family life and spends quality time with her husband. “We strive to ensure that the atmosphere at home is completely normal. There is absolutely no competition between us,” she says.

The officer, who believes in hard work and mental strength, aims at policing that helps the common public, the victim, and the aggrieved. She wants to enforce the rule of law impartially, and be able to bring a smile to a person even in difficult circumstances.

There has always been a lack of trust amongst people about the functioning of the police, says the IG, who is confident that “Personal integrity, accessibility, transparency in functioning and impartiality will build faith amongst people in the department.”

Talking about the various situations she has encountered, Goel says, “I’ve had so many different experiences and so many challenging moments, so it's very difficult to point out one. Each has enriched me both personally and professionally.”

As for striking a balance between personal and professional life, Goel says, “It is very hard but one needs to prioritise. I don’t believe in the concept of superwoman and I can't excel 100 per cent in all spheres at all times.” Asked if she ever had to make a choice between her career and family, Goel shares, “Not really, but prioritising is a continuous process.”

So, what lies ahead for the officer? Says Goel, who grew up in Delhi and did her college from Miranda House and M. Phil in Botany from Delhi University, “I believe in learning and giving my best. I will continue to do my job with commitment, enthusiasm, and sincerity.”

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