Shabana Shaikh – The first woman police officer of her district, #vamaindia
Shabana Shaikh has become the first senior Police Officer in charge of Dongri Police station, and this news is spreading like wildfire. Having joined the Maharashtra police in 1992, Shabana has come a long way. Her position is being acclaimed for two major reasons. Firstly, having a woman Police Officer is the first time for the Dongri Police Station. Secondly, Shabana is the first Muslim woman, who has achieved such a prestigious position from her district Ahmednagar.
Shabana has inspired many women, including her family. This is why her two sisters had also decided to join the police force in 1995. Before finally becoming the Police Officer in charge, Shabana worked as an inspector in Mumbai Police Special Branch. Shabana did not have a privileged childhood. Her father did not have a proper education, but he made sure that his daughters had access to it. Her hometown was Akole Taluka, Ahmednagar. She was born and bought up in a joint family of seven sisters and two brothers. During her time, education for girls was not considered necessary in the village. However, Shaikh’s eldest sister was the first to break this taboo by pursuing a higher college education. Thus, she was the first woman to join a college in their village. Naturally, their full family was criticized and judged. However, this did not stop Shaikh from pursuing her dreams. Soon after her elder sister, she joined a college in Sangamner. After graduation, she went to Pune for post-graduation. Her father was initially hesitant about sending her this far, but he immediately agreed after seeing her strong will. During this time, Shabana realized that she wanted to become a police inspector. However, she did not pass the MPSC exam for the Police Deputy Superintendent post. Instead, she passed the sub-inspector post examination. This was a big achievement since Shabana cracked this exam during her first try. The hard-working woman multitasked after this. Besides pursuing her Masters, she trained for the post of sub-inspector. She managed to complete both and even achieved an LLB. Seeing his daughter achieve phenomenal heights of success, Shabana’s father’s every worry melted away. He realized that sending her to Pune was indeed the right decision. Shabana even exclaimed about how proud her father was when he saw her pictures in the newspapers with the tag of the first Muslim Woman Police Officer of Ahmednagar. His pride in her kept on increasing with all the felicitations and awards she received. She and her sisters dispelled and broke many taboos which were still prevalent in her village, be it about women’s education or empowerment. Besides being a woman, Shaikh was also a part of the minority Muslim community, which made it even more difficult. However, she overcame all the hurdles with her sheer determination and hard work.
She received honorary felicitation from Param Bir Singh, Police Commissioner during the previous year. It was given for her contribution in the investigation and judgment passed of one case of Nagpada PI. She was given the title of Best officer. During that period, Shaikh was a part of the M.R.A Marg Police Station. Shabana has debarred all the taboos regarding women and proved that gender and religion have nothing to do with accomplishments. At the end of the day, she proved all those who criticized her wrong. She is the true symbol of women’s empowerment.