Indian society depicts women as goddesses, all-powerful and fierce, but often there are stories of abuse both physical and emotional against them. Time and again, the society has said one thing and done another, but women have proved through sheer grit and determination of getting through the tough times that their might prevails.
They refuse to be silenced and coerced into submission. In Sikkim, women have always made a mark in their respective fields, proving themselves as responsible and dedicated workers and continue to become role models for children and youngsters.
One of these strong women is Eden Subba (52) is the Additional Superintendent of Police (ASP) and the proud recipient of the prestigious President’s Police Medal for meritorious service. The medal was conferred upon her by the Governor of Sikkim, Ganga Prasad during the state-level Republic Day celebration at Paljor Stadium in Gangtok.
She is presently posted as ASP (2nd Indian Reserve Battalion) at Pipalay in West Sikkim.
Daughter of Late Kirtiman Limboo and Pethi Bhutia, Subba is one of the police officers who symbolizes woman power in the force. With over 33 years of service in Sikkim Police and completing two UN Missions, Subba carries a zeal and enthusiasm to live on the motto of Sikkim Police – ‘To Serve and Protect’
Winning the President’s Police Medal motivates her, boosting confidence to work better. “I am thankful to my department, senior officials, colleagues, friends and family who have always been a constant support in different phases of my life. I am both, happy and elated to receive this award”, says Subba.
Born in Namcheybong village in East Sikkim, she studied at St Xavier’s, Pakyong, till class X and then completed schooling from Paljor Namgyal Girls Senior Secondary School, Gangtok after which she the joined the police force.
Previously, her ambition was to become a doctor and therefore had taken Science in her senior secondary level, but her father had a desire to see her as a police officer in uniform. “I still remember my father giving an example of Ongmu Bhutia, who then was one of the first batches of women police officers. Sikkim police had just started recruiting women in Sub Inspector’s post. I passed the examination in the year 1987 and was sent for a yearlong training at Phillaur in Punjab.”
“My first-ever posting was as Probationary Sub Inspector (PSI) in Reserve Lines. Thereafter, I was posted in Crime, Sadar Thana (Gangtok). For many years I was attached with the advance security team of the former chief ministers, late NB Bhandari and Sanchaman Limboo. I enjoyed all my postings as there was so much to learn from the seniors,” she says as she remembers much of her well-lived life.
In 2003 and 2016 she was selected for a UN Mission in Kosova and Sudan, respectively. “A police officer who wants to go for the UN Mission has to appear for a series of interviews. It gives an opportunity to work, understand and learn many aspects of policing with police counterparts from other countries. It helps to brush your professional skills. My experience of working in these two countries was overwhelming as well as learning. It was as a whole new experience and exposure.
Presently, how does she see women participation in Sikkim Police? She reflects on her own personal experience before answering. “I still remember people giving us a surprised look when we used to walk in uniform, as there were very less lady police officers in Sikkim Police. The scenario has completely changed; nowadays women aren’t hesitant to join the forces. There are women police officers who head police stations in Sikkim. We see many women getting recruited at par with me not only in the police but other forces too. Given an opportunity, women can equally prove at par with men. Tell me any area in which women do not have a representation!”
Governor of Sikkim, Ganga Prasad conferring President’s police medal for meritorious service to Eden Subba on January 26, 2019 ( Republic Day)
Which is true. Women have tried their hand at everything, even driving local cabs in Sikkim which until a few years ago was a male-dominated area.
Apart from her career, she has a deep love for photography. “I love photography; it’s my passion. I love to capture moments. As I also love travelling, I am more into nature photography. I make a point to carry my camera whenever I travel. I too love listening to songs especially ghazals during my leisure time.”
She asserts that after retirement, her plan is to be a full-time photographer without an iota of doubt. “I want to travel and see the world. Life is too short for regrets.”