Kiran Bedi Birthday Special: Lesser-known facts about India's first female IPS officer
Photo by ANI

Kiran Bedi who was born on 9 June 1949 is an Indian politician, social activist, retired police officer and tennis player who was the 24th Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry from 28 May 2016 to 16 February 2021.

She is the first Indian female to become an officer in the Indian Police Service and started her service in 1972. She remained in service for 35 years before taking voluntary retirement in 2007 as Director General, Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Here are some interesting facts about the first Indian female to become an officer in the Indian Police Service:

1. Kiran Bedi was born in Amritsar in a well-to-do Punjabi business family.

2. Bedi's upbringing was not very religious but she was brought up in both Hindu and Sikh traditions.

3. Bedi was educated in a Christian school- Sacred Heart Convent.

4. She participated in National Cadet Corps (NCC) among other extra-curricular activities.

5. During Bedi's schooling days, Sacred Heart did not offer science, instead it had a subject called "household" which was aimed at grooming girls into good housewives. When she was in class 9, Bedi joined Cambridge College, a private institute that offered science education and prepared her for matriculation exam.

6. Inspired by her father, Bedi started playing tennis at the tender age of nine.

7. As a young woman, Bedi frequented the Service Club in Amritsar, where interaction with civil servants inspired her to take up a public service career. Her first posting was to the Chanakyapuri subdivision of Delhi in 1975.

8. Bedi took oath as the Lieutenant Governor of Puducherry on 29 May, 2016 and broke convention by addressing the gathering at the path ceremony.

9. Kiran met her future husband Brij Bedi on tennis courts of Amritsar. Brij, who was nine years older than her, played university-level tennis at the time.

10. On 9 March 1972, the two married at a simple ceremony at the local Shivalaya temple. Together they have a daughter named Sukriti. The two have lived separately for most of their married life.

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