Parents in middle-class Muslim families generally believe that their children would hardly get a government job, hence, they find it better to engage them in some work rather than letting them pursuing studies. But a young woman from a middle-class family has busted such myths by becoming the Deputy Superintendent of Police.
Shabera Ansari, a resident of Indore, is posted as DSP (Women's Cell) at Dewas in Madhya Pradesh and her father is posted as a Sub-Inspector at a police station in Indore.
Shabera said she had a normal childhood and there were never big dreams to pursue. When she went to college, at the age of 19, marriage proposals started coming in but fire in the belly to do something egged her on. Finally, she joined the police forces and became a DSP. Currently, she said, she is preparing for civil services exams.
The young woman said that soon after passing her out of a government school in Indore, she enrolled in a college and started preparing for Union Public Service Commission examinations along with her regular studies.
She was selected as Sub-Inspector in 2013, and in 2018 posted as Trainee DSP in Sidhi.
Shabera's family originally hails from Ballia in Uttar Pradesh, but settled down in Indore about 30 years ago due to his father's job in state police.
"I was an average student in school and also failed in mathematics once," she told IANS with a chuckle.
"A marriage proposal came when I was just 19. I was scared and decided to do something. I started my journey and never looked back. I started preparation for the state government services during college and tasted success in the first attempt... I have continued studying ever since," she said with confidence.
Shabera further added: "My mother always supported me. Initially, it was not clear if I will opt to join the police, though there was always an interest since my father is in police service."
Surprisingly, Shabera is the first woman in her family to crack state civil service exam and has now become an inspiration for her community.
Many times, she was honoured as chief guest in various functions, including school programmes where she interact with children who are always curious to know about her journey.
"I always try to encourage children and motivate them to do something in life," Shabera said.
"Little children seem very fond of taking selfies with me," she smiled.
She said: "I often do counselling of children of Muslim families, especially boys. I tell everyone to trust themselves and study seriously; hardwork will definitely change things."
Shabera said she also got to learn a lot from her father. It could be a coincidence that Shabera was incharge of a police station during lockdown where her father was posted.
In fact, her father had gone for some work to Uttar Pradesh when the lockdown was imposed and he got stuck. Shabera tried to somehow bring her father back but to no avail. Eventually, the police authorities issued direction that he could do duty from wherever he was stuck.
She said that she had many times gone out on patrol duty at night with her father. However, once back home, she used to cook for him.
She said that her father respects her as an officer but Shabera has to many times remind him that she is an officer at office not at home.