‘People want positive change which only AAP can bring’
Tell us about your early life.
Our family lost the ancestral land and property during my early childhood, but my parents supported me in every respect. Enrolled me in an influential school in Amritsar, despite being not so well-off. I used to travel to school in a bicycle along with my father. He used to carry a milk container and couple of sacks in its carrier, which left me embarrassed in the presence of others classmates. But my parents struggled hard to provide me the best education. Being an introverted girl, I discovered solace in poetry and classic literature. I did my masters in English and then became an IPS officer in 1973. What I am today is only because of my parents.
The serial Udaan was based on your life. Any thoughts?
It was directed by my younger sister Kavita. It portrays the struggle of a woman who faces hardships before and after she joins the Indian Police Service. It talked about empowerment of women when this concept was still new in our country.
What are the pressing problems in Haridwar?
Since the formation of Uttarakhand, the plight of aam aadmi has not improved. In remote areas, there’s hardly enough water, electricity, education or medical services. With no roads, toilet facility, drinkable water, schools, dispensaries, even proper markets, huge parts of Haridwar lie in utter disrepair. Women, especially, lead a pitiable life, with not even decent sanitation facilities available to them. Neither BJP nor Congress is concerned, but now they are asking for votes. With AAP in fray, now they have option to choose a candidate who will deliver. We have received overwhelming response from everyone, wherever we have campaigned.
Your fight is with BJP’s Ramesh Pokhriyal, who was earlier the state CM. The Congress candidate, Renuka Rawat, is wife of current CM Harish Rawat. Don’t you think you face the toughest fight in the state as AAP is a new party?
I don’t believe in forecasting and party image. The voter has become mature enough to choose the right candidate. Youngsters and first-time voters are highly influenced by Arvind Kejriwal and his fight against corruption. People want positive change which only AAP with honest people can bring it.
What would be your topmost priority if you win?
During my road-show, I met a few girls from poor families who want to become high-flying officers in future. They said they want to be like me. But they have no education, no resources, and no family support. I want to help such girls by opening schools, and tend to the basic necessities of life.