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It's a bird! It's a plane! It's Superwoman! (Part II)
June 10, 2000

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Kiran Bedi, India's Superwoman
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"Kiran Bedi is a great woman. India needs a few more people like her, not just in the police force, but in every field in fact," my cousin Babalu told me.

I had heard of Kiran Bedi from the movie "Doing Time Doing Vipassana," which was a big hit in San Francisco before I left on the World Trek last year. I figured she would be an interesting person to meet while we were here in India, but I had no idea what a Superwoman she really is.

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She took on what no one thought was possible and succeeded
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Not only was she a top student but she was also an international champion at tennis! Her biggest accomplishment was becoming India's very first woman admitted to the Indian Police Force. To join the Indian Police Service you have to score high in the Civil Services. This is India's hardest exam, harder than medical school and engineering!

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Kiran Bedi's foundations operate in slums like these
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Kiran Bedi took over India's worst jail, Tihar Jail, and made it a place where prisoners learn to be better people so they can be happy and successful in life.

"What nobody else was able to do, she did in Tihar Jail," my cousin told me.

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Amazing! But this Superwoman didn't stop there! She took things a step further. She wanted to make sure that people didn't end up in jail in the first place. She started the India Vision Foundation which helps many children who are at risk of becoming criminals to choose a different life for themselves. Most of these children are living in poverty and are from families that do not take care of them very well.

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Thanks to Kiran Bedi, these children will have a chance for a better life
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So, Kiran and her friends at the India Vision Foundation started the Gali Schools in the slums of India.

Visiting these schools in the slums of Delhi was amazing for me. The changes the India Vision Foundation have made are incredible. But do you think a superhero would stop there? No way! She keeps on going! Dr. Bedi's foundations support many other areas of life in the slums and rural places. They help people learn to read, train them to have skills that will get them good jobs, fight for women's rights.

Vocabulary

slum - a very poor area
rural - a farming or highly agricultural area

Kiran Bedi has done all this while still working full time within the Police Force, being a full time parent, and touring all over the world to share her ideas! It's amazing to see how much one person can do with her life.

Related Links

To learn more about Kiran Bedi, click here.

To find out about the Vipassana meditation courses she established, check out this link.

"Everyone gets 24 hours a day to build on. We can waste it away, or we can build on it, and make the most of it. The choice is ours."

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Kiran Bedi is an inspiration
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Though I may call her a superhuman, Kiran Bedi is actually a human just like you and me, with just as many hours in a day as you and I. If she can enact such positive change in the world around her through hard work and dedication, so can we. Come on, there's a superhero in all of us, it's just waiting to be unleashed! Just imagine what the world would be like if all of us simply tried.

Kavitha

p.s. - Please e-mail me at ...kavitharao@bigfoot.com
 


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