By Ram Kumar Kaushik
Never did anyone imagine two malnourished tribal girls from Palamu (now Latehar) district could rise from being constables in sports quota in 1986 to Superintendent of Police after 37-year of service. Even Jharkhand finance minister Rameshwar Oraon, who inducted these girls in police while serving as Senior Superintendent of Police, Ranchi had little inkling about Sarojini Lakra and Emelda Ekka's rise from ranks. Recently Jharkhand Police promoted both these police officers to Superintendent of Police. Currently, Sarojini is SP (Wireless) and Emelda is SP Anti-Corruption Bureau.
These travails of these two tribal women are no less than the inspiring tale of President Droupadi Murmu, also a tribal. Despite having no common connection, Sarojini Lakra and Emelda Ekka have similar fate.
Hailing from separate villages, both these girls joined the same school – St Teresa Girls High School in Mahudand in Latehar and stayed in the school hostel. During school days, both these girls were good at athletics.
Athletics coach Robert Kispotta spotted their talent and admitted them to his sports academy in Mahuadand, where food and accommodation were free. This was the turning point for them, and both started winning medals at district and state in various sports events.
Sarojini excelled in javelin throw, long jump, 100 m hurdles, 100×400 m relay, high jump and heptathlon while Emelda perfected her sprint in 100m, 200m and 400m. Their sports exploits got them into police force in 1986 as constables under the sports quota for women. While working they continued with their education and did graduation from Ranchi University.
Start of the journey
While serving in police and participating in international and national events, both won several medals and brought laurels to the department. For this, they were even granted out-of-turn promotions and made Inspectors in 1991. Then again, both together got promoted as DSPs in 2008 and then as additional SP in 2019. Now after serving at various positions in state police, they were formally inducted into the Indian Police Service last month with “retrospective effect” from 2017.
Ram Kumar Kaushik is a seasoned journalist with over 25 years of experience across mediums. The architect of this news website, he is also a consultant with several media groups. He was formerly the group managing editor of ITV Network (NewsX, India News and The Sunday Guardian) and its digital products.