Sub Inspector Saritha Binu, who graduated from Thrissur Police Academy last week, has had a special win in many ways. Not only has she won three Gold medals for her excellent performance during the training, she is also the first woman to win the Chief Minister’s Medal for Best Cadet – all this while she was away from her infant son, Abhimanyu.
Reportedly, Saritha had to leave her son when he was just three months old, to join the training for Sub Inspector position. According to a Malayalam daily, Saritha had support from her mother and mother-in-law, both of whom took care of their grandson. Media reports also suggest that Saritha, who is originally from Kollam district, was able to visit her son only four times during the year-long training, but is now happily reunited with the 15-month-old.
Including Saritha, 14 women were among the 104 Sub Inspector trainees who passed out of the Police Academy last week. Media reports have quoted her as saying that although it was her father’s dream to see her becoming a police officer, nobody from her family was allowed to attend the passing out parade due to the restrictions imposed to fight the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic.
Saritha has won medals for the best performer in forensic science, best performer for outdoor in weapon and parade, as well as for best all-rounder. She has now joined Thiruvananthapuram Rural Police as Sub Inspector.
Only 6.3 percent of women are registered as police personnel in Kerala, as per statistics released in January 2017. However, Kerala – which is home to India’s first women police station located in Kozhikode (established in 1973) - is taking requisite steps to promote inclusivity and women empowerment in the state. In May 2020, R.Sreelekha, the first woman IPS officer in the state, became the state’s first Director General of Police (DGP). She is also the first women officer to be made the DGP. A few weeks ago, Kerala also appointed Sajitha.O. from Thrissur as the first woman Excise Inspector in the State.