Dr Bedi the social activist and retired IPS officer mesmerized and wowed not only the Jakarta ladies with her charisma and positive attitude, but even the members of the India Indonesia Chamber of Commerce (www.indcham.or.id). She was available for a question and answers session and shared her experiences, leadership beliefs and insights.
Kiran Bedi was India’s first woman IPS officer and a top cop — tough, innovative and committed to social change. Her efforts to prevent crime, reform prisons, end drug abuse, and support women’s causes earned her a Roman Magsaysay Award, the Asian equivalent of the Nobel Prize. Bedi also served as a police adviser to the UN Secretary General.
This is a short interview with Dr Kiran Bedi, while she was in Jakarta.
It was amazing to see her inspiring effect on the large audience of women who braved the Jakarta Traffic on a weekday at the Embassy of India Auditorium to view a documentary on her life ‘ Yes Madam, Sir’ a 2008 documentary Megan Doneman and narrated by Helen Mirren, followed by a question and answer session by Dr Bedi herself.
She touched upon the importance of personal goals and growth. Dr Bedi suggested ‘SWOT analysis’ is the best way to effectively pursue a goal – personal or professional. ‘SWOT’ stands for ‘strength’, ‘weakness’, ‘opportunity’ and ‘threat’. “If we are born with a healthy body, we are privileged and have potential to achieve anything and everything in life,” said the Ramon Magsaysay award winner.
Vipassana, a 10 day meditation program from Guru Goenka was also discussed as a method to look within and making life purposeful. The audience had the opportunity to purchase her books and have them autographed by Dr Bedi and take photographs with her and she was treated like a superstar.
‘Crane Bedi’ — an epithet she won when she as an IPS officer had vehicles of who’s who, including the then PM Indira Gandhi, towed away from an illegal parking lot – said if four ‘F’s are overcome, half the race will be won. The four ‘F’s are fear, failure, forgetfulness and lack of faith.
Now retired from the national police force, Dr Bedi runs two NGOs that benefit rural and urban poor. She has become one of the most trusted and admired community leaders in India. She advocates for social change and civic responsibility through her books, columns, and a popular reality-TV show. She reaches out to more than 10,000 people daily through her two NGOs, Navjyoti and India Vision Foundation, which provide education, training, counseling and health care to the urban and rural poor. Her latest initiative, Mission Safer India, aims to ensure that police log and address citizen complaints.
By Poonam Sagar
Kiran Bedi is truly the inspiration not only to Indian women, but to any person in the world for her determination, hard work, honesty and the desire to serve her country.