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From Shooting Medals To Burning Fat 

Indian Masterminds Stories

She is an Olympian, a gold medalist at Commonwealth Games, Arjuna Award recipient and the Superintendent of Police (SP) at Malerkotla in Punjab. But she is a sportsperson at heart and a fitness freak first. That’s why she has started a fitness programme for all policemen in her district. 

No, Ms. Avneet Kaur Sidhu didn’t qualify the coveted Civil Services Examination conducted by the UPSC. Its wasn’t possible for her to study after working hard in the shooting arena. Starting her career in 2001, she won more than 100 medals at various national and international events. Recognizing her contribution to the sports, Punjab Government offered her to join its ranks as Deputy SP.

Ms. Sidhu is SP, Malerkotla (Punjab)

However, unlike many other sports personalities, Ms. Sidhu didn’t keep joined the services as a formality. She joined active duty from 2020 as SP Faridkot. 

She has inspired many with her work against drugs menace and initiating a fitness regimen for cops. In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Sidhu who is now SP Malerkotla spoke about her experiences in the police and how she misses her shooting. 

THE SPORTS

She started sports shooting in the year 2001 and within six years she won a gold and silver medal in Commonwealth Games 2006. Although, she had a glorious career in sports but that was not her dream. Ms. Sidhu says that since childhood civil services fascinated her but shooting happened fortunately. 

In pursuit of excellence in sports, civil services took a back seat. Fortunately, sports became a vehicle to fulfill her dream of joining civil services as well. “I was very busy with sports but never away from the civil services. My father kept me updated on everything. The opportunity to serve the country as police officer is a big thing for me”, she says. 

Being busy with her work, she hardly gets time to practice. Wherever she goes, her shooting gear is always with her. “I want to practice at least for one hour and participate in a national event. But, it becoming increasingly difficult now alongside the current responsibilities”, adds Ms. Sidhu.

THE DRUG MENACE 

Whole Punjab is still in grip of drug. Smuggling is a major challenge for the police. As SP Ms. Sidhu is determined to fight this problem and is already getting the results. In Faridkot she started a helpline number for drugs related information. She acted upon almost all of such tips. Ms. Sidhu used to note each and every actionable information herself. 

Ms. Sidhu during a field visit

Her drive against drugs has helped her gain people’s trust. It also scared the drug peddlers. ” I never sat on any information and went on each and every raid myself. Seeing the SP on patrol sacred the peddlers. We can see the cases have dropped rapidly and people are coming up with more tips now”, adds the officer. 

Her fight against crime continues in Malerkotla too. Crime incidents too have come down significantly. Many panchayats too have passed resolutions to help her in this fight. She says, “It is not just a crime anymore but it has become a social issue. We can’t fight this without the help of public. Now they too are coming forward with information.”

FIT COP HIT COP 

Being a sportsperson herself, Ms Sidhu knows the importance of fitness, especially for police personnel. A potbellied cop can’t outrun an athlete Ms. Sidhu has started started an initiative called ‘fit cop hit cop’. 

Police personnel in Malerkotla have been divided in two groups and every alternate day they follow a fitness regime which includes a march and exercises for 1-1.5 hour. The project started when police personnel were marching for the preparations of Republic Day parade. Ms. Sidhu says, “I got this idea from that and started with taking one group for 11 kms march in a day. Many definitely got tired but they were eager to continue. Fitness is important for everyone but it is a need for police.”

In the start only few came to participate but everyday there numbers increased.  A doctor was appointed and all the police personnel got their BMI & other things checked. Ms. Sidhu has also announced a prize for those who will lose weight and become physically fit. 


Indian Masterminds Stories

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