Soumya Mishra – IPS Officer from 1994 batch
Soumya Mishra, the first female IPS officer from the state of Odisha, is the cadet of 1994 batch IPS officer and has held several senior positions and taken charge as special Secretary of Home in the State Government of Telangana. She was designated in various parts of Andhra Pradesh like Vijayawada, Karimnagar, Vishakapatnam, Vijayanagara and Warangal during her career as police. She was born in Cuttack and received her education in Stewart School, after which she did her Ph.D. In sociology from Utkal University and received a research scholarship. She left the research field after she passed the civil services examination.
Soumya Mishra is married to a retired IAS officer, Debabrata Kantha, and has one son and one daughter. She has inspired many women who’re now following her footsteps. However, she feels that women have a long way to go before receiving a more dignified treatment in the police department. She is an alumnus of the historic Stewart School and Ravenshaw College (now University) and had cleared the IPS examination without any coaching. She tells that she has always excelled in academics, since her childhood and aimed to joined the IPS. Few days before the declaration of results of IPS, she went through a junior research fellowship but later decided to join IPS itself.
Soumya Mishra is currently the Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Police, Vishakapatnam range, Andhra Pradesh and her younger sister Tadasha Mishra is also an IPS officer, who is the DIG of administration in Ranchi. While, her friends and relatives discouraged both Soumya and her sister from joining the IPS because it was considered too dangerous. Also, the juniors and constable aren’t given any due respect by the seniors of the male-dominated police force. She believes that women do their work more sincerely as they’re more sensitive towards their duty for the society. Men are believed to be excellent once they excel in their work, however, women have to prove their worth time and time again.
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Mishra, who was in the city to attend the fourth National Conference of Women in Police, believes many reforms are needed in the department for women to be confident and comfortable to choose the police services. She says that instead of being sidelined, policewomen need to be mainstreamed and posted at centers of activity. Women also need to be provided basic facilities like toilets, crèche for their children. They should be trained not only at the academy, but also at the field and must be well equipped to be confident.
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She explains that it’s important to bring motivation through promotions and recruitment policies, which bring recognition, so as to prevent losing the will to perform better. She says that she has long lost her hobbies of gardening and reading due to her work schedule and her 2 children, and dedication to her work brings her the best satisfaction. She tells that although it’s a challenging job it brings satisfaction as one helps the people and reestablish the law