Aswati Dorje.IPS. Joint Commissioner of Police. Nagpur. The Multifaceted Woman in Khaki

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International Women’s Day: Let’s create an environment where women are empowered:

Over two decades ago, the naxal-affected Gadchiroli district of the western Indian state of Maharashtra was a land of fear and strife where communities navigated treacherous paths to survival. In the heart of this conflict-ridden region and within the shadows of adversity, Aswati Dorje, a woman of unwavering courage and determination from the Indian Police Service (IPS), was sent on her first posting to Ghot in the region as ASP/SDPO.

True to her character, with steely resolve and profound compassion, she played a crucial role in securing the surrender of ten armed Naxals, as well as convincing an entire village of Naxal supporters to rejoin the mainstream. To the local community, she was like a beacon of hope in the relentless battle against the Naxal insurgency.

Today, Aswati Dorje is a senior officer serving as the Joint Commissioner of Police at Nagpur City.

It is generally believed that police officers are expected to deal harshly with criminals. However, contrary to this common notion, officers also provide a healing touch to victims of crime and violence. In this effort, women officers make the most significant contributions. Therefore, it is unsurprising that this lady officer, blessed with an indomitable spirit, has done commendable work that transcends duty.

In her current capacity of Jt-CP in Nagpur city, Aswati has implemented several public outreach programmes, including the ‘Police Didi,’ which aims at sensitising children in the vulnerable age group and preventing them from falling prey to sexual exploitation and related offences.

Aswati is the daughter of the award-winning filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan. Unaffected by the tinsel world of films and amidst the echoes of her father’s cinematic legacy, she decided to script her own story in law enforcement and entered the IPS rank in 2000 (Maharashtra cadre).

As a police officer, she made many notable contributions, including helping coordinate with NASSCOM to set up the Thane Cyber Lab when she was DCP Crime, Thane.

Besides, she established the Thane Police School and Library; Thane Police Library and Canteen is run by the Constabulary wives.

At Foreigners Regional Registration Office in Mumbai, she steered the implementation of the Immigration Visa Foreigners Registration and Tracking (IVFRT) system in Maharashtra and four other neighbouring states. She was also commissioned to introduce the IVFRT system at the Indian embassies in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Ankara, Turkey.

 

As additional commissioner of the Armed Police in Mumbai City, the ever-active officer installed a rainwater harvesting system with the help of CSR from IndusInd Bank, which saved the Mumbai police the need to purchase 38,000 million cubic litres of water daily.  Additionally, she organised several welfare programmes, especially for the children of police families, with visits to museums and parks and job fairs for those of employable age.

Academically inclined, she has presented papers such as

“Training Needs Analysis to bridge the gap between training and field requirements” at the BRR& D Conference of Heads of Training Institutions at CDTS, Bhopal and “Autonomous Governance” at the BRR& D Conference of Heads of Training Institutions at Mahipalpur, New Delhi.

Moreover, during her duty, she added awards and accolades to her name, winning the Internal Security Medal and Hard Area Medal for her services in the Naxal-affected districts.

In 2016, she was bestowed with the Indian Police Medal for Meritorious Service, followed by, in 2017, the Director General of Police’s Insignia. She also won the Union Home Ministers Medal for Excellence in Training for 2021-22.

Beyond the badge, Aswati is like any other woman – daughter, wife and mother. This spirited woman cop is married to a fellow officer she met while training at the police academy. Her husband, Chhering Dorje, has had his share of living dangerously while posted at Jammu and Kashmir and the Naxalite zones in Maharashtra for quite a few years. Presently, he is Spl. I.G.P., Nagpur Range, Nagpur.

In the domain of law enforcement, the husband-wife duo weave a tale of partnership and dedication. On the home front, too, parenting a young son amidst the demanding range of law enforcement, their dual roles as police officers and nurturing parents weave a tapestry of love and duty, balancing between duty and family gracefully.

The woman officer, through her untiring commitment to the profession and family, especially parenthood, nurtures a legacy of service and inspires the next generation with hope and purpose.  She is truly a woman of substance.

 

By Vasundhara Sanger

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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