Meet the supercop who has rescued over 950 runaway and trafficked kids

Rekha Mishra was awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2017 for her fearless and courageous act. Her achievements are also included in the SSC textbooks as a separate chapter. 

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Image source: Humans of Bombay

Rekha Mishra who is a Mumbai based RPF (Railway Protection Force) policewoman rescued more than 950 runaway and trafficked children in the past six years. She was awarded Nari Shakti Puraskar in 2017 for her fearless and courageous act. Her achievements are also included in the SSC textbooks as a separate chapter. 

In a recent interview with Humans of Bombay, Rekha shared her life story and mentioned, " I’ve always wanted to join the Police Force; my father served in the Army & was my inspiration. He’d often take me to feed stray dogs. Once, he stopped our rickshaw because he saw water overflowing from a tap. He asked me to close it before we went ahead. My sisters & I were encouraged to take up a life of service. I applied to be a sub-inspector & the day I passed the exam, my father said, ‘Always work for a cause, not the applause.’ I was posted at CST to prevent the trafficking of kids. One night, an 11-year-old was crying. He said, ‘My dad beat me up. I ran away.’ I calmed him by giving him food & found his mom. I only let them leave once I knew he’d be safe."

Sharing a few incidents of kidnapping and trafficking, the policewoman said, "Once, I helped nab a 45-year-old man who’d kidnapped a 15-year-old girl in Goa. He was on the run for 3 days. The Goa police sent us the girl’s photo; my team & I surveyed the station. When I saw the girl, I quickly pulled her aside while my team arrested the kidnapper. She cried, ‘Thank you for saving me!’ I registered a case; he’d molested her & wanted to marry her. I once found a 16-year-old who’d run away to Mumbai. Only when her parents arrived did we learn that she was pregnant."

Furthermore, she added, "Since 2015, I’ve rescued over 950 runaway & trafficked kids. I’ve had parents profusely thank me for safeguarding their kids. Still, I’ve relatives tell me, ‘Women officers aren’t suitable for groundwork.’ My answer is, ‘Yes we are!’ Someone once said, ‘When you’re working, who’s cooking at home?’ like that’s all we women are capable of. 
But then random people tell me, ‘I want to be like you someday.’ And in 2017, President Ram Nath Kovind awarded me the Nari Shakti Puraskar! I’m 35 now, & married, so often I get asked–‘When are you going to have kids?’ I spend 12 hours on duty every day & I’m proud of it! Children aren’t the only things that make a woman, a woman–sometimes it’s her ambition."

While signing off she said, she hopes that her daring actions will inspire many women out there so that they can also be the heroine of their lives.