Women IPS Officers Bag UK’s Prestigious Chevening Scholarships
Not every Indian citizen gets to live the dream of studying masters in the United Kingdom. In a major boost for women’s empowerment, IPS officers Merin Joseph and Nishanthini Rajarathinam from the Kerala cadre have bagged the prestigious Chevening Scholarship.
Kollam Police Commissioner and IPS Joseph made headlines recently upon cracking a POCSO case and nabbing a rape accused from Riyad, Saudi Arabia. She will be pursuing Master of Public Policy (MPP) in the University of Oxford, while Rajarathinam has opted for MSc Policing in University College, London. Both the women officers have been offered fully-funded scholarships as part of the U.K. government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
Both the women officers have been offered fully funded scholarships as part of the U.K. government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
“It has been a long dream from the time I was in college. But then I couldn’t pursue it as I got into the service early and the plan to do higher studies in the U.K. was put on the back burner. But now I feel is the perfect time in my career to take a short break,” says Joseph, The Hindu reported.
Joseph has opted for MPP as the stream is relevant to her job. Rajarathinam, on the other hand, had been posted as the SP, Headquarters, Thiruvananthapuram. She holds the position of additional charge as State Coordinator, Nirbhaya Cell, and Chief Executive Officer, Gender Park. She is also the commandant of the first woman battalion of Kerala.
Joseph has opted for MPP as the stream is relevant to her job. Rajarathinam, on the other hand, had been posted as the SP, Headquarters, Thiruvananthapuram. She holds the position of additional charge as State Coordinator, Nirbhaya Cell, and Chief Executive Officer, Gender Park.
“We found out after we got through, that too from another person,” she says.
Joseph’s case grabbed national spotlight when the 38-year-old accused, Sunil Kumar Bhadran, a native of Kollam in Kerala, had raped a 13-year-old girl in 2017 while he was in the state on a holiday. He raped the girl, his friend’s niece, for three months. By the time the girl showed courage to tell her story to her family, Sunil had already fled the country to Saudi Arabia, where he was employed as a tile worker. Joseph told India Today in an interview, “No one was really familiar with the extradition procedures as it had not been done in the past. Also, cases related to women and children are pretty close to my heart. I take special interest in solving them. I wanted this person to be brought back to face trial in India. People should not live with the impression that they can commit a grave offence, then escape to foreign country and evade justice. So the message had to be loud and clear.”
She added, “This was a heinous case where the victim had committed suicide; I felt it was my responsibility to do something about it. Because even though there is a lot of hype around such cases, people forget and move on and that is not fair to the victim, especially poor people who may not have the resources, because they lose out in the long run.”
Joseph and Rajarathinam have been popular officers from the Kerala cadre as their work and records speak for itself. They will be now be part of the ‘Living Bridge’ between the U.K. and India.