May it be the inspiring mother-daughter duo who are all set to create the world record for flying around the world in eighty days, or Miss World Manushi Chhillar who has set the bar high as an intelligent, beautiful, and compassionate role model for young girls everywhere, the year 2017 has officially been a landmark year for women in India, and even around the globe! Breaking the mold, shattering glass ceilings, and smashing patriarchy are just some of the things we do on a daily basis, and this time, it’s the northeastern state of Sikkim that has given us a girl boss that’s winning against all odds.
Aparajita Rai has created history by becoming the first female IPS Officer after securing the 358th rank in UPSC 2012 Examinations. Currently stationed in Hooghly, West Bengal, the 28-year-old first cracked the UPSC in 2011and is the first Sikkimese to bag such a high rank in these exams.
Winning several accolades through the course of her education, some of the feathers in her cap include the 1958 Batch IPS Officers’ Trophy for the best Lady Outdoor Probationer, The 55th Batch of Senior Course Officers Trophy for Best Turn Out, West Bengal Govt Trophy for Bengali and Shri Umesh Chandra Trophy for Field Combat - talk about being a determined high achiever!
Born in a well-educated family, Aparajita was only eight years ago when she lost her father, who was a divisional forest officer, and the responsibilities fell on her and her mother, who was a graduate school teacher. It was at that tender age that she realised the insensitive way that government officials treat people who come to them for help, and vowed to be a change in the system herself.
“Anyone who comes to me should not face the same harassment or agony which people generally encounter in government offices,” she said to The Better India.
In her free time, Aparajita likes to do aerobics and learn to play the guitar. If not an IPS Officer, she would have fulfilled her dad’s dream of being a corporate lawyer, but hopes for more students from Sikkim to take up the profession of an IPS Officer.
“There is no awareness about Civil Services”, she said. “Majority of us think that the best we can get is a government job. Many young guys from Sikkim don’t want to go out and compete. It is only when you sharpen your edges, you will be sharp”.
Truer words haven’t been spoken. Thank you, Aparajita, for being the change we wish to see in our world!
Images: The Better India, NDTV