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A Fearless Warrior on the Road

As five month pregnant IPS officer Shilpa Sahu stands in the scorching Chhattisgarh sun, motivating people to stay indoors and not fall victims to the lethal second wave of the pandemic, she becomes a beacon of hope for many.
Indian Masterminds Stories

Leading from the front by setting an example is easier said than done. But it has happened in Dantewada, Chhattisgarh. The coronavirus pandemic has made everyone stay inside the four walls of their home to keep safe from contracting it. Young, adult, and old – everyone is trying to minimize their outdoor movement as much as possible. New mothers who have a newborn in their arms or on the way to becoming one are taking special care of themselves to keep themselves and their child away from the deadly virus.

The entire world is scared of the pandemic, but such isn’t the case with Dantewada’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Ms. Shilpa Sahu who is on the fifth month of her pregnancy. Still, she goes out in the field in her vulnerable condition, with a mask and a ‘lathi’ in hand, to appeal to people and make them understand the importance of staying indoors.

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Masterminds, Ms. Sahu talks about why she does this and what impact has it had on the public.

She stands in the scorching heat of the sun for hours

THE BAD COVID SITUATION MADE HER TAKE THE STEP

We asked Ms. Sahu the reason behind why she chose to stand in the scorching heat of the sun, patrolling for hours that too during pregnancy, when instead she should have been at home taking care of herself and her baby. To this, she said, “I have seen healthy people going for a function or wedding at home, and after returning they didn’t just test positive for the virus but some of them even lost their lives. My own department saw the death of various frontline police personnel who died due to Covid, while on the job. Their families are devastated as their kin succumbed to the virus while doing their duties, which in turn is also shattering the strength of the department.”

Feeling the agony and pain of the deceased personnel’s families and observing the horrific condition that the country is in right now, Ms. Sahu felt that if she wanted to keep the people safe and inside their homes, she will have to go out into the field and work her way through them.

“The public doesn’t understand the words of police when explained, so maybe after seeing my condition, they realize how important it is for them to stay inside so that we can protect them as well as ourselves,” said Ms. Sahu.

The diligence of Ms. Sahu is praised by the citizens and the internet loves her

A FEARLESS OFFICER

Being five months pregnant, Ms. Sahu feels that she does not require taking a maternity leave now. She further understands that it is not necessary that she contracts the virus while on the street; she might even get it in her office, at home, or in a function.

The biggest challenge that she faces during patrolling is making the educated and rich ones understand to keep inside their homes.

“They give stupid reasons such as they are bored or wish to meet their friends. They become rude a lot of times and try and fight their way out. Now, what do I tell these people? All I could say is ‘Jaan hai to Jahan hai’ (if you have life, you have the world) and explain to them that looking at the condition of the country, they should stay inside,” Ms. Sahu told Indian Masterminds.

Ms. Sahu is a people friendly police officer

SUPPORTIVE STAFF MAKES EVERYTHING POSSIBLE

The officer thoroughly praises her staff and subordinates while she is on duty. They take good care of her and help her with everything they can. Even her seniors support her in every way possible. She wasn’t put on field duty and has been doing it with her own will. She looks at the condition of her subordinates who stand there in the heat, facing the virus and disobedience of the general public.

“In such a case, if they have a senior officer by their side helping them and dealing with the same crisis, it motivates them further. Moreover, the public also obeys if there is a senior officer around because otherwise, they tend to argue with the subordinates and start blaming them for the inconvenience,” she said.

Her staff has been supportive throughout

We salute the pregnant IPS officer and her determination to be there for her people while going through a phase herself.


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