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 March 7, 2016

From the District Magistrate to the Superintendent of Police, the Chief Development Officer to the Chief Medical Officer, from the Zila Panchayat President to the Sub-Divisional Magistrate, it’s the ladies who have grabbed almost every top administrative post in Unnao.

This district is buzzing with enthusiasm over women power. Here are some of the names of those powerful women in Unnao district, who are an inspiration to other women:

Sowmya Aggarwal : District Magistrate
Neha Pandey : Superintendent
Sandeep Kaur : Chief Development Officer
Geeta Yadav : Chief Medical Officer
Mala Bajpai : Regional Transport Officer
Jasjeet Kaur : Sub Divisional Magistrate
Archana Dwivedi : SDM Hasanganj
Shruti Shukla : District Probation Officer
Sherry Masood : Child Development Project Officer
Jyoti Chaudhary : Mandi Secretary
Roli Gupta : District Election Officer
Sangeeta Senger : District’s first Zila Panchayat Head

Unnao, a district in Uttar Pradesh has become an exemplary in women empowerment. Women in the Unnao administrative authorities occupy key decision-making positions.

Neha Pandey, 2008-batch IPS officer when assigned as the area’s police superintendent at the weekend, she filled the last remaining void in the female-only line up holding the reins of the district that is grappling with a grim litany of sexual attacks against women.

Unnao District Magistrate Sowmya Agrawal is a happy woman. She says, “This all-woman chain won’t change anything for us. Our focus will be entirely on keeping up the good work. We will work together and the youth seem inspired by us. We send this message nationally: Women should be entrusted with responsibilities and they are very sensitive towards their duties.” She added, “Young girls relate to us well. Also, with women colleagues there is a degree of flexibility – we are able to work out things if someone is on leave, etc. since we are going to be a complete team.

Archana Dwivedi, the SDM says, “It is very convenient to work with women colleagues. Even if they call us 10 times in their cabin, there is nothing to hesitate about. This will be an opportunity to work for the health of the girl child. We need to take care that our girls eat well and drink milk at government schools.”

Sangeeta Senger, who occupies the powerful Zila panchayat head’s post, said that at a time when women are fighting for reservation in Parliament, Unnao sends a “very important” empowerment message. “From Unnao, a message has gone out loud and clear,” she added. “Women are not only equal to men, they can be tough competition. As zila panchayat president, I am going to work for women’s employment, make sure they get the opportunity in whichever field they choose. We are in a dominating position, and it’s great.”

As CMO, Geeta Yadav said her focus is on reducing the maternal mortality rate.

Sridhar Pathak, who recently retired as inspector general of police after 42 years in service, said he doesn’t remember women holding all key positions of administration in a district, probably in the entire country. “It is a definitely a first and a welcome one. More power to the women,” he said.

These women love to work with each other and find communication a lot easier and comfortable. The team’s biggest success was the way it recently conducted hassle-free panchayat elections.

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