BANGALORE: Sonia Narang had a childhood dream about joining the civil services and she single-mindedly pursued it. “I had never thought of anything else. It was only civil services right from high school. After graduating, I started preparing for the UPSC exam. Even then, I used to read a lot of magazines on competitive exams whenever I found time,” beams Narang. “During that phase, I used to work very hard and there was no ‘free time’ for me. In fact, I used to wish there were more than 24 hours in a day, to listen to music, watch news and take a walk in the garden.”
A gold medalist in sociology, she graduated from Punjab University in 1999. With her eyes set on the coveted Indian Police Service, she went on to fulfil her father’s dream, who was also a civil servant. “When I took up IPS, I knew that it would be a 24X7 kind of work, but I am very happy,” she says. “A police officer is the first person that someone in distress will contact. It gives you an opportunity to serve the society.”
Nobody above the law
All the determination she exhibited while preparing for IPS didn’t desert her, when Narang had to deal with a crisis later in her first stint as Davanagere SP.
“When I was posted as the SP at Davanagere district in 2006, there was a clash between Congress and BJP partymen in Honnalli. The current excise minister MP Renukacharya was leading the BJP group and we tried to persuade both the warring groups to mellow down. We finally had to resort to lathicharge, but Renukacharya wouldn’t budge and leave the spot. I slapped and arrested him,” narrates the IPS officer of the 2002-batch. Following this, Renukacharya tried to get her transferred out of Davanagere but he never succeeded.
Since then Narang has come to be respected as an iron-willed lady. She is even admired by her superiors and juniors. Being a woman IPS officer is not easy, admits Narang. “As a woman and a police officer, I have many responsibilities — of being a mother, a wife, a daughter, a daughter-in-law and with the same spirit, I also have to prove that I am a responsible police officer,” she explains.
For the public
During a recent monsoon season, there were floods in Belgaum, following which Narang, who was the SP then, along with her team was involved in the rescue efforts. “From constables to SPs, we rose to the occasion and ensured that minimal damage was caused. While we had to evacuate the village before it started flooding, in some areas, people were not willing to move out,” recounts Narang. Finally, they had to persuade the public explaining the impending disaster and take them to safety. In September, 2010, Narang was promoted as DCP-Bangalore South Division.
It might look rosy from outside, but being a police officer is not a cakewalk. “God has given me this opportunity to help people and I am very happy. Only those who have the right temperament and attitude can take up this job,” she asserts. DCP Sonia Narang is married to IPS Ganesh Kumar, whom she considers to be her pillar of strength. The couple has a three-year-old son, Shaurya.