In a patriarchal society with a high crime rate against women, it is time to have women as protectors.
To support oppressed people, especially women, Pakistan's first Hindu woman Manisha Ropeta has joined Sindh police as Deputy Superintendent of Police - one of the top officials in the force.
Ropeta cleared the competitive examination of the Sindh Public Service Commission in April 2021. Before qualifying for the tough competition, she did MA in English from Shah Abdul Latif University Khairpur and a Doctor of Physical Therapy from Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Center.
"Most girls prefer or are forced by their families to become doctors. It is a do-or-die-like situation for them," Ropeta told The Express Tribune. "I wanted to break this myth of a women-friendly profession," she added.
Ropeta has been posted as an under-training officer in one of the port city's oldest areas - Lyari. "These are early days of my career, and I am being trained to handle issues happening in society," she said.
With a smiling face, Ropeta said her father founded the family's education. "He is an all-time inspiration for translating our dreams into reality," she said. In a society where young girls hardly get education facilities and a chance to study, Hindu girls do not see good opportunities to get their due space.
"We [the community] had been told to apply only for downgrade jobs," commented Partab Shivani, an educationist from Tharparkar. "However, our young, energetic and talented girls have proved they can compete in any competitive exam and succeed with flying colours."
Shivani said that medicine is the first choice for girls by parents. "The parents do not think other professions as women-friendly. "This is the first time we see our Hindu girl in police [officer] uniform in the last 75 years," he pointed out.
Happy with encouragement from different people, she said, "Not only my family and relatives but I received very positive responses from different parts of Pakistan."
"My message is for all girls who strive hard to become something in their lives," she said. "Irrespective of caste, colour or religion, I am the reflection of every girl in our society who aspire to climb the rungs of the ladder where they deserve to be," she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2022.
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