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Shattering Barriers: The Untold Saga of CSP Pallavi Shukla

Pallavi Shukla's journey began with a stark realization of the rampant gender discrimination prevalent in society. Despite excelling in her field and demonstrating exceptional merit, she was unjustly sidelined in the PAC exam of 2008. This pivotal moment propelled her into a relentless quest for justice, as she refused to accept the systemic bias that denied her the position she rightfully deserved
Indian Masterminds Stories

In the annals of Ujjain’s law enforcement, one name stands out for her resilience in the face of gender discrimination – City Superintendent of Police, Pallavi Shukla. Her journey from battling systemic bias to securing her rightful place is a testament to both her determination and the ongoing struggle against gender inequality.

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, the MPPS officer shared details about how she fought and overcame gender discrimination in the service.

A PROFESSOR TURNED OFFICER

A former professor in an engineering college, Ms. Shukla always maintained a friendly environment in her class and with her students. Her pupils came to her with any issue they faced as they realized that she could provide them with solutions. A lot of these problems were regarding gender discrimination or sexual harassment faced by college-going girls daily.

“Even as I used to travel from my place to the college in bus, I observed the kind of harassment and abuse that was going on all around me and how nobody was able to raise voice against it. All these things stuck in my mind and I decided to take matters into my own hands and fight against this injustice. This prompted me to opt for civil service,” Ms. Shukla told Indian Masterminds.

UNVEILING GENDER DISCRIMINATION

Even though she cleared the examination on her first attempt, the year 2008 marked a pivotal moment in Ms. Shukla’s career, albeit for all the wrong reasons. Despite her qualifications and merit, she found herself sidelined in the Police Assistance Center (PAC) exam, relegated to a position on the waiting list.

Adding insult to injury, the role she rightfully deserved as Deputy Superintendent of Police was bestowed upon a male counterpart. Undeterred by this blatant injustice, Ms. Shukla embarked on a relentless quest for justice.

She knocked on the doors of various government offices, visited the Public Service Commission (PSC) multiple times, and sought solace in the corridors of power. Yet, her pleas for fairness fell on deaf ears, compelling her to seek recourse in the hallowed halls of the Honourable High Court of Madhya Pradesh in 2011.

THE LEGAL BATTLE

The ensuing legal battle was a test of endurance and fortitude. For years, Ms. Shukla persevered, navigating the complexities of the judicial system while steadfastly clinging to the belief in her cause. Finally, in 2015, the courts rendered a historic verdict, directing the government to appoint her to the esteemed position of Superintendent of Police.

However, the victory was not without its challenges, as the government lodged an appeal against the court’s decision. Despite their efforts, justice prevailed, and in September 2015, Ms. Pallavi Shukla assumed her rightful role as Superintendent of Police. 

“So many people advised me against my decision to become a police officer and asked me to take up fairly easier jobs in the Finance Department, but I stuck to my decision and finally my four years of battle came to an end in 2015 when I won and was appointed to my rightful post,” stated the officer.

A BEACON OF HOPE

Ms. Shukla’s triumph reverberated far beyond the confines of the courtroom, serving as a beacon of hope for countless women grappling with gender discrimination in the workforce. Her indomitable spirit and unwavering resolve underscored the imperative of dismantling entrenched biases and fostering a culture of equality and inclusion.

“After struggling myself, I realized that there are so many women out there who are dealing with this in the same, or maybe even worse manner. Not everyone is aware of their rights and the help that they can receive from the government and courts if they face discrimination. I decided to help them in whichever way possible,” she said. 

RAISING AWARENESS

The officer regularly contacts women of her region and organizes classes for them. She teaches them details about various policies that the government has launched for the benefit of women, along with the numerous provisions made by the Home Department and the police department to help women in India, especially Madhya Pradesh.

“I regularly visit the nearby villages and gather everyone for the classes. I teach them what inequality and injustice are, because a lot of times, these women are facing discrimination without even knowing anything about it. For them, it’s common and natural but the reality is entirely different,” Ms. Shukla said. 

She keeps in mind to keep them aware of the gender biases that women face on a daily basis such as mental harassment, physical harassment, abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, the varied sections of IPC, and the laws related to all these injustices.

She continuously helps women facing discrimination and aids them in coming into the mainstream. As Ujjain’s law enforcement landscape continued to evolve, Ms. Shukla’s journey served as a poignant reminder of the power of perseverance and the promise of a brighter, more equitable future.


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