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Kiran Bedi joins BJP, could be next CM of Delhi

NEW DELHI: Former IPS officer Kiran Bedi on Thursday was officially joined the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). The retired Indian Police Service officer had in May last year said she was ready to become the chief ministerial nominee in Delhi, if the BJP made such an offer to her. Bedi said she joined BJP because of the PM’s “inspiration leadership”. "I am here because of PM Modi's leadership; I am here because he has inspired me. I have been serving the nation for the last 40 years. I am thankful to the PM for this blessings and the trust he has placed on me," "Kiran Bedi's entry will strengthen the party," said party president Amit Shah. Union finance minister Arun Jaitley said, "We hope that the party will benefit from Kiran Bedi joining it." Kiran joined the Indian Police Service in 1972. After completing her training at the National Police Academy at Mount Abu, Rajasthan, she was posted as the Sub-Divisional Police Officer at the Chanakyapuri Police Station in New Delhi and became the first woman in uniform to lead the all male contingent of the Delhi Police at the Republic Day Parade in 1975. Transformation of Tihar Inmates Kiran is known to be and the highest ranking and the only woman to have headed a pre-dominantly male prison of the dimension of Tihar (over 9700 prisoners then). The Prison Administration took path-breaking steps during her tenure as the Inspector General of Prisons. She converted the high security prison into a "Reformatory", a transformation of a magnitude unparalleled in the history of Prison Administration anywhere in the world. Her courageous and holistic approach towards prison governance became a major factor in her earning the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service in the year 1994. The process of transformation of Tihar is documented in Kiran's book "It's Always Possible". Kiran had introduced a "Godly approach to jail inmates" with the introduction of yoga,meditation and discourses by various sections of religious groups to inculcate spirituality and human values amongst the undertrials and convicts, men and women. The prison became an open school. The illiterate inmates were made literate and the literate were encouraged for higher studies. Indira Gandhi National Open University and National Open School set up their centers inside the prison. Along side various vocational training courses were introduced for the adolescents, men and women prisoners, both under trials and convicts for their rehabilitation in collaboration with the government and non-governmental agencies. Inmates having vocational knowledge were allowed for the first time to work for the local entrepreneurs, resulting in the inmates utilizing their prison time to keep in practice with their trade and be of help in the prison. The inmates earned wages through innovative activities and were in a position to contribute for their families outside while they were inside the prison. She made de-addiction facilities for addict prisoners very comprehensive. A bank was opened inside the prison which facilitated the prisoners in banking their wages. Social Service Navjyoti India Foundation came in to being in the year 1988 as the brain child of Dr. Kiran Bedi. The organization was setup with the idea of promoting welfare policing, the outcome of which was our drug de-addiction program. Since its inception, Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) has made significant contributions in other areas like education, women empowerment, family counseling, rural and urban development, health, HIV/AIDS, environment as well. After the receipt of the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 1994 Kiran set up India Vision Foundation to work in the field of prison reforms, crime prevention, education, rural development. Children of prisoners are educated under the ‘Crime Home Children’ project and children in slums who are otherwise beggars, rag pickers, gamblers and drug peddlers have schools at their doorsteps. The motive has been to Save the Next Victim, while rehabilitating the present one. Root of Punjab Prakash, a sensitive young man from Amritsar, Punjab was inclined academically, but was not allowed to continue as he had to join the family business. He however, had liberal access to the best of the clubs in Amritsar to pursue his interest in tennis.  He married Prem Lata née Janak Arora, a brilliant student of her time. The couple had four daughters — Shashi, Kiran, Reeta and Anu. Both Prakash and Prem Lata had a vision ahead of their time and were in no way conventional in the upbringing of their daughters. They believed in giving them the best of the education which was not the trend of the times. Daughters then were considered liabilities, to be married off with hefty dowries. In fact, when Kiran's grandfather found out that the girls would be enrolled in a convent, he withdrew the family's allowances. But, inspite of these obstacles the girls got a motivating and enthusiastic environment in which they got to realise their potential, be it academic or sports, particularly tennis which they learnt from their father who had become an ace player himself. It was on the tennis court that Kiran met her husband, Brij Bedi who was a member of the same club i.e. the Service Club in Amritsar. He was a University tennis player, a former farmer and a textile engineer by profession. He is a renowned social activist  in Amritsar . He is known in the city for education of children of drug addicts. Kiran's Family They have a daughter, Saina who is  also involved in community service. She along with her husband Ruzbeh N. Bharucha,  is producing short films and documentaries.  Ruzbeh is  a journalist by profession. He is an author of five books to date and his latest book and film Yamuna Gently Weeps, pertaining to demolition of Yamuna Pushta Slums in Delhi has been released and internationally acclaimed.

About Sanjay Trivedi

Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.

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