I was appointed because of my seniority, says SSB chief

Being projected as the first woman to head a paramilitary force, IPS officer Archana Ramasundaram said on Wednesday, “I would be unfair to myself if I said that I got the post because of my gender.”

“I see myself posted here because I am a 1980 batch IPS officer, the senior most, not here because I am a woman,” Ms.Ramasundaram told The Hindu after she took charge as the Director General of the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) on Wednesday. The SSB is entrusted with guarding the country’s frontiers with Nepal and Bhutan.

Ms.Ramasundram, who was the Director of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) in her previous posting, is the first woman chief in the six-decade-long combined history of the five paramilitary forces, the CRPF, BSF, CISF, ITBP and the SSB.

She said that the NCRB might not be considered to be a “prestigious posting”, but she had enjoyed her stint there.

She said that now women were joining the IPS service in a large numbers and it would be difficult to ignore them for key postings. Speaking about the challenges women officers face, Ms.Ramasundaram recalled an incident when she was posted in Tamil Nadu. She said, “I was already a Deputy Inspector General (DIG) then, but had never served a range (a cluster of several adjoining police districts). I went to my Director General and demanded a field posting. He asked how I would handle my family as it would also mean dislocation. He was being considerate, and I got the posting too, but the question remained - women should not have aspirations.”

She said combat duties were still considered a tough posting for women.

“I have 35 years of experience, most of the real police work is mundane. We would prefer it would not get exciting, which means one has prevented a situation. Basically, it’s your capacity to handle that task, I don’t think gender really matters much,” said Ms. Ramasundaram.

She said that SSB would attain five percent women representation by 2021 and they had recently got sanction raise 21 additional companies.

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Printable version | May 19, 2022 6:07:29 pm |