Mahesh Bhagwat: Fighting hard against human trafficking
IPS officer and Rachakonda Police Commissioner (Telangana State) Mahesh Bhagwat made the country proud when he won recognition as a hero for his efforts in combating trafficking. The Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, U S Department of State, listed him in the 2017 TIP Report Heroes for demonstrating remarkable commitment to the fight against human trafficking for the last 13 years. “I am delighted to get the award as it is a recognition of the work the Telangana Government and the police are doing to combat trafficking in persons for sex and labour. The award has also brought a great global recognition to Telangana Police in its fight against trafficking. Our Commissionerate participated in one of the largest crackdowns on labour trafficking in the country, which led to the identification and rescue of more than 300 children forced to work in brick kilns,” he shared.
Bhagwat has also started writing and contributing to journals, including a book published by the UN on trafficking. “I want to write more often if I get the time.
The books inspire several people. My work at the grassroot levels with various people has given me the experience and opportunity to combat naxalism and trafficking,” he shares.
Swati Lakra: Impressive skills
September 2017 was special for IPS officer Swati Lakra, Additional CP Crimes & SIT, as she got selected for the distinguished Humphrey Leadership Award in the US. She is only one of two Indians nominated for the award and the only one to represent the country. “The US Consulate nominated me for a week-long executive leadership programme, which includes policy level professionals in or out of government who are working on critical issues. I participated in the leadership training programme at Harvard University titled ‘Leadership for the 21st Century — Chaos, Conflict and Courage’. I got to observe how on-the-job shadowing and policing in the US works. I learnt about the innovations that are being done there and how technology can be implemented here too. I split my week between the Tucson Police Department and the New York Police Department, and it has been an enriching experience. Also, I’m pleased that the SHE teams completed three years.”
N.V.S. Reddy: Tracking Hyderabad Metro Rail
When Narendra Modi flagged off the Hyderabad Metro, a project billed as the world’s largest public-private partnership (PPP) in the sector, IAS officer N.V.S. Reddy was the most relieved of them all.“It’ll be a year to remember. The entire team worked for 10 years and it’s a satisfying and emotional feeling. Several people wrote us off, but we were determined to make it. This success shows that India has the competency and can build some of the world’s largest engineering projects. Metro Rail only proves that there’s a lot more to come. It was a proud moment for all of us,” says N.V.S. Reddy, adding, “Even when the chips are down, if you have a great team who you can believe in, anything’s possible. I want to thank the government and all the others who trusted us. We have learnt a lot.”
So what are his new goals? “We are now working towards other routes like Hi-Tech City and are confident that we shall meet the deadline. The success of Phase 1 has given us the courage and self-belief to work under any uncertainties,” he says.
R.S. Praveen: Transforming marginalised lives
IPS officer RS Praveen, State Secretary, Telangana Social Welfare Residential Educational Institutions Society (TSWREIS) has been instrumental in transforming and impacting the lives of 200,000 children from the most disadvantaged sections of the society. He’s also the man who encouraged Malavath Poorna, the youngest girl to summit Mount Everest. “Girls are being discriminated against. But they have great potential and so, I wanted a girl to lead the expedition to Mount Everest. My aim is to ensure that students become self-confident and there’s all-round character development, not just a focus on academics. The marginalised communities were deprived of opportunities for centuries for various reasons. I am on a mission to fill that void because these children are equally bright,” he says.