October 2010
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Kiran Bedi on Social Initiatives and her new book ' Groom & Broom '

India's first woman IPS officer Dr. Kiran Bedi launched her book “Groom & Broom” . Her conviction and honesty snaps you to immediate attention and for as long as she speaks, every word she says stirs feelings of awe and respect within. Remarkable indeed is the fact that despite pressing commitments and limited time, her attention never once wavered during the interview.

Bedi is hopeful that “Groom & Broom” will hold up a mirror to its reader reflect on themselves. “We are becoming more tolerant towards incivility. All of us are being negatively impacted by uncivil behaviour and we see it everywhere—between child and parent, in our State Assemblies where MPs and MLAs throw mikes at each other, in our media where there's more shouting and less speaking and in our poor service delivery systems. We are talking management and leadership all the time, but we forget that decency and decorum lies at its very core. It's time we address this issue,” Dr. Bedi says with characteristic conviction.

The only solution, she believes, to this problem is to stop taking issues like civility and hygiene for granted. “These issues should move from being an individual to a social concern. We need to make cleanliness and good behaviour a social responsibility and a right. Why should integrity be only an individual concern?” questions Bedi.

For over three decades, Dr. Bedi has faithfully and courageously introduced revolutionary reforms in police administration. She won the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award for her outstanding contributions to society. Despite retiring from Government service in 2007, Dr. Bedi continues to initiate positive changes in society. Her India Vision Foundation (IVF) and Navjyoti Projects deals with serious social concerns such as drug abuse treatment, counselling and providing education to the urban and rural poor.

Presently, Navjoyti is focussing on improving the problem of unemployment among the youth by strengthening its four community colleges. Each of the colleges is registered with Indira Gandhi Open University (IGNOU). She believes that India's progress depends on the values instilled at home. “We should focus on our value education which essentially rests on two pillars—parents and teachers, what I would term as “mother values”, one doesn't need a degree education to be well mannered, good behaviour is taught in the family first, after all home is the first cradle of education,” she says.

Dr. Bedi admires India's Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh for his impeccable graciousness and the deference with which he addresses others.

Bedi's passion for serving society and her country developed at the feet of her parents. “I grew up with strong values which were instilled by my family.”

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