There are several roles that a woman has to play in her everyday life. There are times when a woman has to be a professional, a caregiver, and a homemaker at the same time. Generations worth of conditioning has wired society in a way that they designate the primary responsibility of taking care of a child to the mother. And sometimes, the woman is left with no choice but to multi-task, even in a dangerous way.
For example, a video of a female traffic constable carrying her five-month-old baby with her during duty in Chandigarh went viral on social media recently.
— Gagandeep Singh (@Gagan4344) March 5, 2021
According to The Indian Express, an investigation was done on the matter and the events that led to the woman making such a decision. Here is what was found:
The female constable has been identified as Priyanka who recently got off of a 6-month long maternity leave. She revealed how there was nobody to take care of her son while she was on duty.
“There is no one at home to look after my son who was born prematurely. My husband and in-laws are in Mahendragarh. I joined my duty four days ago. For the first two days, I was given duties near my residence after my request to do so. On Friday, my duty point- the Sector 15/23 roundabout, was very far away from my residence. I got late and received a call from the Traffic Police Lines, Sector 29. Duty is first for me, but I also cannot ignore my child. So, I took my child to Traffic Lines and later went to the duty point,” she said.
After requesting the authority, she has now been assigned lighter duty.
“A cop performing her duty keeping her child in her lap is not acceptable,” said SSP Manisha Chaudhury.
It was also revealed that a male traffic constable who was also on duty urged her to go back home with her child but she insisted on working. Later, a senior traffic cop reached the spot and asked her to go home, and she did.
While there was many who glorified the woman for juggling both work and parental duties, there were others who highlighted that instead of celebrating women like her, authorities should consider making their lives easier. Many suggested free day-care for children of cops, reports News18.
Oh bullshit! Please. This woman should have access to a crèche and proper child care while she is on duty. Her State Govt should be ashamed for not providing it. Don’t glorify helplessness & exploitation. It forces women to subject themselves & their kids to such dangers. https://t.co/BvPMnyMEok
— Mona Ambegaonkar (@MonaAmbegaonkar) March 6, 2021
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98 year old man sells chana, we praise
A traffic constable works with her baby in arms, we appreciate
An IAS brings her 14 day old baby to work, we applaud
Making a virtue of our failings to provide for senior citizens, facilities for working mothers has become an art.Must stop.
— Priyanka Chaturvedi (@priyankac19) March 6, 2021
Chandigarh Police @DgpChdPolice should rather inquire why did she have to bring the baby on duty under such harsh & dangerous circumstances. This is not matter of “spirit” but shame that we can’t provide child care facilities to our men and women on duty. https://t.co/eNhaauTu79
— Yo Yo Funny Singh (@moronhumor) March 6, 2021
This trend of taking small babies to duty place need to be discouraged. Traffic duty while holding the child may look good on social media but its clearly unsafe for the child.
Police in every state has large number of women personnel now. We need crèches. Not this bravado. https://t.co/5cF0C8Bu5W
— Arun Bothra (@arunbothra) March 6, 2021
Sorry but this is a misplaced sense of duty. A baby in the arms of a traffic policewoman in the middle of busy traffic is bad and irresponsible parenting. It’s dangerous!
There should be complimentary daycare for children by the departments. That should be the goal. Not this. https://t.co/4MocRENObu
— Junaid Azim Mattu (@Junaid_Mattu) March 6, 2021
Applauding women in such situations and calling them an “inspiration” only makes matters worse. It would only normalise this practice for women when in reality, they need to be helped.