Kiran Bedi (born 9 June 1949) is an Indian social activist and a retired Indian Police Service (IPS) officer. Bedi joined the police service in 1972 and became the first woman officer in the IPS. Bedi held the post of Director General at the Bureau of Police Research and Development before she voluntarily retired from the IPS in December 2007. Bedi was the host and judge of the popular TV series “Aap Ki Kachehri” (English, “Your Court”), which is based on real-life disputes and provides a platform for settling disputes between consenting parties. She has also founded two NGOs in India: the Navjyoti Delhi Police Foundation for welfare and preventative policing in 1988 which was later renamed as the Navjyoti India Foundation in 2007, and the India Vision Foundation for prison reformation, drug abuse prevention and child welfare in 1994. Bedi was awarded Ramon Magsaysay award in 1994 for Government service. Early life and education
Kiran Bedi was born in Amritsar, Punjab, India. She is the second of four daughters of Prakash Peshawaria and Prem Peshawaria. Her three sisters are; Shashi, an artist settled in Canada, Reeta, a clinical psychologist and writer, and Anu, a lawyer. (Hons.) from the Government College for Women, Amritsar in 1968. She then earned a Master’s degree in Political Science from Punjab University, Chandigarh, graduating at the top of her class in 1970. She later obtained Bachelor of Laws in 1988 from Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. In 1993, she obtained a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Department of Social Sciences, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi where the topic of her thesis was ‘Drug Abuse and Domestic Violence’. Career
She began her career as a Lecturer in Political Science (1970–72) at Khalsa College for Women, Amritsar. In July 1972, she joined the Indian Police Service, becoming the first woman to do so. Bedi joined the police service “because of [her] urge to be outstanding”. She served in a number of tough assignments ranging from New Delhi traffic postings, Deputy Inspector General of Police in Mizoram, Advisor to the Lieutenant Governor of Chandigarh, Director General of Narcotics Control Bureau, to a United Nations delegation, where she became the Civilian Police Advisor in United Nations peacekeeping operations. For her work in the UN, she was awarded a UN medal. She is popularly referred to as Crane Bedi for towing the Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s car for a parking violation, during the PM’s tour of United States at the time. Kiran Bedi influenced several decisions of the Indian Police Service, particularly in the areas of narcotics control, Traffic management, and VIP security.
During her stint as the Inspector General of Prisons, in Tihar Jail (Delhi) (1993–1995), she instituted a number of reforms in the management of the prison, and initiated a number of measures such as detoxification programs, Art of Living Foundation Prison Courses, yoga, vipassana meditation, Murat redressing of complaints by prisoners and literacy programs. For this she won the 1994 Ramon Magsaysay Award, and the ‘Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship’, to write about her work at Tihar Jail. She was last appointed as Director General of India’s Bureau of Police Research and Development. In May 2005, she was awarded an honourary degree of Doctor of Law in recognition of her “humanitarian approach to prison reforms and policing”. On 27 November 2007, she expressed her wish to voluntarily retire from the police force to undertake new challenges in life. On 25 December 2007, the Government of India agreed to relieve Bedi of her duties as Director General of the Bureau of Police Research and Development. Personal life
Kiran Bedi is married to Brij Bedi, social activist-cum-businessman from Amritsar.Brij Bedi runs Citizens’ Forum Vidya Mandir, a school for needy students. Social initiatives
Kiran Bedi along with 17 other police officers set up Navjyoti India Foundation (NIF) in 1987, NIF started with a de-addiction and rehabilitation initiative for the drug addicts and now the organization has expanded to other social issue like illiteracy and women empowerment. In 1994 Bedi setup India Vision Foundation which works in field of police reforms, prison reforms, women empowerment and rural and community development. Her efforts have won national and international recognition, and her organizations were awarded the “Serge Soitiroff Memorial Award” for drug abuse prevention by the United Nations. Lokpal Movement
Kiran Bedi is one of the prominent members of the India Against Corruption (IAC) along with Anna Hazare and Arvind Kejriwal. IAC has been actively protesting against corruption and is urging the government of India to enact a strong Lokpal Bill. On 16 August 2011, Key members of the India Against Corruption including Bedi were arrested four hours before the planned indefinite hunger strike by Hazare. However, Bedi and other activist were later released in the evening same day. After twelve days of protests and many discussions between the government and the activists, Parliament passed a resolution to consider three points in drafting of Lokpal bill.