She works for 12 hours 6 days in a week in a field considered male-dominated, tainted and corrupt. However, a visit to the APMC police station in Navi Mumbai will change your perception.
Well-known in the city, senior police inspector Maya More initially carved an impression as the first lady inspector in the traffic division. Not only did she earn praise from colleagues and senior police officials but also from residents. Her commendable work and outstanding performance stand her in good stead.
Even as a child, she always thought different. When others aspired to become doctors or engineers, she aimed for the khaki uniform. She thanks her family for the unquestioning support they lend. Her role models are India’s former prime minister Indira Gandhi and Jija Mata.
“I belong to an educationalist family. Whoever knew us would think I too would follow the footsteps of my senior family members but I had made up my mind to join the police force,” she said.
More passed the Maharashtra Public Service Commission (MPSC) exam in 1992 and joined the police force as sub-inspector. Since then, there has been no looking back. Over the years, she has worked in many cities and received as many as 70 awards. She has arrested many criminals and booked 18 notorious hoodlums under MPDA while attached with Mumbai police.
She was part of the police team that busted a rave party in Pune in which 250 drug revelers were arrested. That was a turning point in her career.
“We knew about these drug peddlers who were influencing the youth. We received information about a rave party. To make this operation successful, my seniors asked me to join the revelers as an undercover cop. On the fourth day, we successfully raided the rave party and nabbed the lot,” she recounted.
During those four days, she observed how educated youth were highly influenced by drugs. That’s when she decided to raise awareness about ill-effects of drugs. Since then, she has been conducting awareness workshops in schools and colleges in association with NGOs. She has also released a documentary on the subject.
More strongly believes in serving the community unconditionally and meditates to de-stress. She encourages her colleagues to do the same.
Being a woman has never been a hindrance for this strict, feisty police officer. She believes she scaled the success ladder only because she followed the ‘right’ path. Speaking about her grueling schedules, she said, “If more people join the police force, the work hours and stress will reduce”. She lauded the transparency measures adopted by the government to bring down corruption.
Her message to women, “Identify yourself, identify your potential. Empower the stree shakti. In the world of technology, let us walk hand-in-hand to push India to the highest position in the world”.
Pics By Farooq Sayed