International Women's Day: Smita Sabharwal Telangana's People's Officer


Smita Sabharwal, 40, is diminutive in appearance but brooks no nonsense. Hailing from West Bengal and an Army kid, she has 17 years of service as an IAS officer under her belt. And in these, Sabharwal has simply put her head down and worked earning her the moniker of ‘The People’s Officer’.

Sabharwal arrived in Telangana with a brilliant academic background: All-India topper in ICSE Standard 12 in her batch and one of the youngest to have cracked the UPSC exams, securing the fourth rank in the country when she was just 22. A number of accolades and awards have come her way since, which she diligently and politely turns down.

“I have been turning them down because awards and rewards don’t excite me personally. I feel that our job is rewarding enough. There are many good institutions that want to recognize our work, but I generally turn them down. I try to keep myself away from the public’s eye. I feel it is a personal thing".

When asked Sabharwal about gender-related issues at the workplace and she brushes them aside. She says “It is completely personal how you take up the role. If you think like a woman and then think like an officer it will be like that. It depends on how we view ourselves. That is very important. As women we must first view ourselves as professionals and then comes gender into that context".

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