Supermoms are super cops too: Hyderabad city police now has four women SHOs first time in history
Meet new female SHOs, who now lead prominent police stations in Hyderabad
HYDERABAD: In a first of its kind in the 174-year history of Hyderabad city police, four women officers were appointed as Station House Officers (SHO) of law and order police stations by the Telangana police, demonstrating the fact that women can deliver equally well like their male counterparts.
The number of women SHOs in Hyderabad has increased to four, thanks to the most recent transfers, debunking the long-held belief that the police service is a profession dominated by men.
Hyderabad police Commissioner CV Anand told Newstap, "The first woman SHO was appointed in Lalaguda police station on March 8, 2022, and now three more women cops have been appointed as SHOs, bringing the total number to four. These selections were made based on their willingness to pursue the opportunities. All of them are committed to work sincerely and seriously."
Solving major crimes while balancing household chores and family responsibilities, these women cops have come a long way and are now ready to lead important law and order police stations in Hyderabad city and serve the public by providing safety to residents of the area.
Meet the new women heads of prominent police stations in Hyderabad
The Supercop-mom Inspector G Lakshmi Madhavi, SHO of Bollaram police station, and mother of an 11-month-old child, brings her baby to work.
Madhavi Latha, a 2002 batch police officer, is overjoyed and thrilled to accept a new role that comes with a great deal of responsibility. She believes that there was nothing a woman could not accomplish and she is grateful to Hyderabad police commissioner CV Anand for providing her with this fantastic opportunity.
Lakshmi Madhavi told Newstap about her new responsibilities, "Yes, we were consulted before being transferred to these positions. When we agree to work in a police station, we must also agree on which station we will work in, as this is determined by senior officers."
Madhavi is living her childhood dream
"I've always wanted to become a police officer since childhood; rank doesn't matter but I just wanted to get into the police force. I joined the police force in 2002, with the help of my family, friends and well-wishers," said Laxmi Madhavi, living her childhood ambition.
All set to take the new responsibility
Madhavi, who previously served as a Station House Officer outside of Hyderabad, said, "Previously, I worked as SHO in district police stations, which is why I have experience of working in this role. I formerly served at Ranga Reddy district, Gopalpuram police station, and afterwards Banjara Hills police station, where I was involved in an accident but am still working. So I'm fairly comfortable taking up this role in the law and order police station."
Every hour is a golden hour for a cop
Inspector Madhavi, who believes that everyday is a challenge for a cop while every hour is a golden hour, said, "Every case is interesting, every case is challenging, every hour is a golden hour for police because we are in the service of the people and for their safety, so every person who approaches us for help is important for us."
Tackled a number of difficult cases
When I was working at Gopalapuram police station, I remember this challenging case where we nabbed a man who claimed to be the husband of Sanjay Dutt's wife Manyata and who also trapped many women. Another case I recall was a Nigerian fraud case in 2006–2007, as well as a 35 lakh rupee robbery from a penthouse in the Srinagar neighbourhood which I quickly cracked. I've worked on many cases but these are the two that I'm very proud of solving," she reminisces.
Juggling between baby and work
"I have an 11-month-old baby, so I'm always juggling between my work and baby all day. I log in at 9:30 a.m. and log out at 9 pm because I don't want to keep people waiting until the next day for petitions. I try to complete them the same day. My husband is very supportive and he works outside the city but I care for my kid and myself when he is away. I bring my baby to work every day because there is no one to care for her at home. I can place my baby in a crèche once she is two years old; however, she is still very small, "says the super cop-mom who is always juggling between her baby and work.
Passionate about exploring new places in free time
Madhavi, who enjoys travelling in her free time, said, "I enjoy travelling in my free time but now that I have a baby, I'm not able to travel as much as I used to. Previously, I worked in the international police for the United Nations (UN) and I recently travelled to the United States because I was selected by the US government to serve there."
No longer a male-dominated society
"This is no longer a male-dominated society," says the newly appointed SHO of Bollaram. "Because women are no less than men, in fact women are superior than men because we multitask, which even men won’t be able to do; we work, take care of our children and home. I wish more women officers would grab such opportunities and take on such challenges. Our CP sir says, please grab whatever is handed to you", she added.
Men don't want to work under women
"Many don't want to work under women, which is one of our biggest challenges. Male officers reporting to us should believe that we are working really hard and that they should assist her in any way that might be of significant use to working women," she said.
Stand up for yourselves because no one else will do that for you
"Women are highly qualified, professional and educated and they should come out and empower themselves and fight for themselves because no one will do that for us," Madhavi believes. We should be kickstarters rather than push starters and we need to kick ourselves in the shins and get moving. The majority of the women are educated but they do not speak out for themselves and I can only say, ‘Speak up for yourself, and if there is any need, we are here for you.’"
‘Equality comes with challenges’ – Meet Langar House SHO Madhavi Latha
Madhavi Latha, a police officer from the 1996 batch, chose this job because she has always desired to work for the public. Madhavi Latha, the recently appointed SHO of Langar House, has a law degree and cleared the police services exam in 1996.
The newly appointed Langer SHO has worked in women police stations for the last 15 years
Madhavi Latha, who is fairly confident in managing this new responsibility, has spent the last 15 years working in women police stations. "There were no night duties previously but I needed to manage these things going forward because I would be performing night duties as well as being the SHO of a police station. However, because we have been assigned a driver 24 hours a day and a vehicle, we are certain that we can handle this obligation with the help of my family and coworkers," she adds.
We should be able to take up equal tasks, when we demand equality
"When we choose these kinds of professions, we are demanding equal opportunities and we should be ready to take on those challenging tasks without complaining," Madhavi Latha argues.
Many women stay away from difficult roles due to family responsibilities
"Hyderabad Police Commissioner CV Anand sir even stated that while other policewomen may be assigned to SHO positions in law and order police stations if they are keen, not all of them are ready due to family and child duties. This is one of the reasons why women avoid more difficult responsibilities because they have to prioritise their families, " said the Langer house SHO.
Recalls one of her challenging tasks
"When I was working as a sub-inspector in Murshidabad police station, I remember this case during election duty when the election code was violated even after the deadline and many big personalities like MP Jayaprada and Venugopala Chary were involved in this case," she explained. When we questioned them, they were really aggressive and we also filed complaints against them, so this case was extremely challenging."
Inspector Madhulatha, first woman SHO of law and order PS, took charge on International Women’s Day 2022
Inspector Madhulatha became the first woman Station House Officer (SHO) in Hyderabad when she was assigned to Lalaguda police station. She took charge on March 8, 2022, International Women's Day, in the presence of Telangana Home Minister Mohammed Mahmood Ali and Commissioner of Police CV Anand.
Madhulata, a native of Jagtial and a 2002 batch officer, joined the services as a Sub-Inspector (SI) and over a period of time, she got promoted and became the SHO.
Hyderabad CP encourages women to become SHOs but not all are ready
"Hyderabad Commissioner CV Anand encourages more women to take up SHO duties, although not all of them are prepared because of family obligations. Also, many women wish to take on these obligations at work but due to family and child responsibilities, many of them are unable to do so. They will be able to take on these responsibilities with more family support and encouragement," said Hyderabad's first woman SHO.
Feels blessed to have a supporting family
"I'm grateful for the support of my entire family, including my husband, who is also a police officer, and my two young children. Because of their unwavering support, I'm able to give my all to my work," she added.
Madhulatha cracked many challenging cases in the last 21 years
“All cases in the previous 21 years were challenging for me to deliver justice to victims,” she said. Madhulatha said, "I had always aspired to be a police officer and getting appointed as SHO Lallaguda was a turning point in my career."
Indulges in sports, physical fitness activities to keep going even at odd hours
"When I have work at odd hours, I mentally and physically prepare myself by talking to family members and devoting some quality time to music and sports so that my professional commitments do not conflict with my personal life," the SHO said.
Women should get unwavering support from both colleagues and families
"When there is a stressful task, I feel both the family and the staff should support the working women in whatever way possible. I appreciate my superiors' encouragement and motivation and I would like to continue seeking their support, " said Madhulatha.
Healthy professional life comes with healthy personal life - Meet Afzalgunj SHO Chitti Burra
“If it had been a male-dominated society, I would not have become a SHO Afzalgunj
“Personally, I do not feel it is a male-dominated society. Nowadays, men and women work equally in all fields. If it truly were a male-dominated society, I would not have been given the opportunity to work as SHO Afzalganj,” says Chitti Burra.
Working in police services allows for social service
When asked why she chose police work, the SHO, Afzalgunj, said, "I always wanted to choose a job that was different from regular jobs and had direct access to the public. I believe that the police service was the only profession where we could do a lot of social service. One of the reasons I chose this job is my passion for uniform service."
Nodding for women SHOs, one of Hyderabad CP CV Anand's best decisions
"Commissioner sir always wanted all women officers to be daring enough to work in any posting, no matter how challenging it is. He always motivates and pushes us to pursue key assignments as a challenge and prove ourselves. There is a saying that ladies come first and our CP sir has demonstrated this saying, by giving me the first preference in this order and posting me as SHO Afzalganj, which is one of the top police stations in Hyderabad city. One of Hyderabad Commissioner's better decisions was to encourage and choose women for SHO positions," Chitti Burra said, in wholesome praise of CV Anand’s decision to choose women SHOs.
Work-life balance in police force demands additional discipline, planning
Chitti Burra said, "Police work is emergency service work, so we have to be available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. We must undoubtedly maintain a healthy balance between our personal and professional lives. Maintaining a work-life balance in the police force demands additional discipline and planning."
Enjoys taking family vacations in free time
"It is difficult for a police officer to spend much time with family but a healthy professional life is possible if we have a healthy personal life. Whenever I have the opportunity, I take my family to my favourite places, " said Chitti Burra.
Family is extremely supportive
"Our’s is a 24x7 job that requires a lot of family support and understanding. I never feel stressed to work at odd hours since we are always mentally and physically prepared and have learnt how to operate at these hours with experience. This is because the nature of our profession demands us to face a new challenge every day. I worked as a Sub-inspector in Sangareddy, where I used to live with my joint family. My parents, in-laws, spouse and children always motivated me to work hard and put the public first. Even now, when I'm relocated to Hyderabad, my family is completely supportive. My daughter always encourages me to work on Sundays and always pushes me to workout to stay fit, which gives me even more encouragement and pushes me to give my best, " she shared about her incredibly supportive family.
Embraced every challenge
The Afzalgunj SHO said, "I am fortunate that I had the opportunity to work under tough officers, which is why I am confident enough to face any challenges with the guidance of superiors, cooperation of subordinates, support of family and encouragement from friends. I have been taking all types of challenges and difficult postings, be it, Prime Minister bandobast, Ganesh Visarjan or any music concert. I'm very confident in taking this responsibility as the SHO of one of the busiest police stations and giving it the fullest effort, just as I did in the past."