Dr Monika Bhutunguru, Superintendent of Police, Chamba district, was conferred with the “Champions of Change-2018” award by the Vice President of India, M Venkaiah Naidu, at a ceremony held at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, on December 26, 2018, for doing exceptional work and bringing substantial transformation in the district and society as well.
She was chosen for this award at the national level by a jury headed by Justice KG Balakrishnan, the former Chief Justice of India and Chairman, National Human Rights Commission (NHRC).
The prestigious award is given in memory of Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee in association with Bharat Vikas Parishad.
Monika was one of the awardees under the ‘Aspirational Districts Programme’ for 115 districts of the country. The awardees were honoured for ushering in refreshing changes in their districts through their fortitude and sincere endeavours from the true spirit of their conscience.
The Aspirational Districts Programme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in January this year. The government has identified the most least-developed districts in the country and Chamba is one of these.
On receiving the award, Dr Monika said the main achievement of the district police has been action against drug menace and community policing to improve the public perception towards the force by increasing responsiveness and accountability.
“The public in Chamba has started exuding confidence in the police and are very cooperative. The real heroes are my colleagues, who man the police stations, police posts, barriers and perform other duties persistently,” she said.
“SP Monika has been persistently combating the menace of drug-trafficking, drug-peddling and other intoxicants in the district. As a sequel to this, anti-social elements are now scared of involving in such illegal acts,” said Abdul Ghani, a social activist. He said the SP had strengthened her social media network in such a manner that even a common man could comfortably approach her and give a tip-off about any illegal activity going on in their respective areas.
The public, too, are all praise for her as she has taken several initiatives to empower girls in real sense. “She has introduced a self-defence training programme for girls in educational institutions, a few run by NGOs as well, across the district, where lady police trainers are imparting training to them,” says Kapil Sharma, project coordinator of Education Society Childline Chamba, an NGO.