Not all superheroes wear capes. Some don their uniform with pride and tirelessly serve to help families reunite. And Delhi Police officer Seema Dhaka, who traced 76 missing children in less than three months, is proof.
A head constable at northwest Delhi's Samaipur Badli police station, Dhaka has become the first police personnel to get an out-of-turn promotion. In an incentive scheme set by Delhi Police Commissioner SN Shrivastava in August, the target for out-of-turn (OTP) promotion for constables and head constables was to trace 50 or more children below the age of 14 in 12 months. In a commendable feat, Dhaka traced 76 missing kids, 56 of whom are below 14 years of age.
Delhi cop who rescued 76 kids gets out-of-turn promotionhttps://t.co/mw53E3A1EX
— Shivam Vij (@DilliDurAst) November 19, 2020
Beyond Delhi, the 33-year-old who has now been promoted to assistant sub-inspector has rescued kids from West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Haryana and Punjab, among others. Her sincere and painstaking efforts have paid off, and also been acknowledged by the police.
Police Commissioner S N Shrivastava felicitated ASI Seem Dhaka on Thursday. As a Head Constable she rescued 76 minors and received an out-of-turn promotion. pic.twitter.com/XSsOvw9wlf
— Raj Shekhar Jha (@rajshekharTOI) November 19, 2020
But getting a promotion was the last thing on Dhaka’s list of priorities. Reuniting families with their kids was far more important. “For me, the happiness on the faces of parents after finding their lost children was priceless. Some of the FIRs were as old as six-seven years. But I am grateful to commissioner sir (Shrivastava) for acknowledging my efforts,” she said.
Delhi: Woman head constable Seema Dhaka of Samaypur Badli receives out-of-turn promotion for tracing 76 missing children.
“It gives me joy to see children reunite with parents. I’m happy that the Police Commissioner rewarded my work. This might encourage others also,” she says. pic.twitter.com/mq5MFyTvMK
— ANI (@ANI) November 19, 2020
A farmer's daughter from Uttar Pradesh's Baghpat district, Dhaka joined the Delhi Police in 2006 serving in a number of districts in the national capital, including Outer District and Rohini. In 2014, she was promoted to head constable and posted to southeast Delhi. She was then transferred to Outer North Delhi district in 2017.
Mother to an eight-year-old, Dhaka could empathise with parents of missing kids and also understand the fear the kids themselves experienced from the separation. It only motivated her to work harder. For almost three months, in her pursuit to trace the kids, Dhaka did not take a single day off. On most days, the officer would go back home for a mere 2-3 hours, and even then if she ever got a clue about a child in the middle of the night, she did not hesitate to leave home to follow-up immediately. In July, Dhaka tested positive for Covid-19 and had to be home quarantined for three weeks. However, it barely deterred her spirit as she resumed her duty as soon as she recovered.
"It gave me immense happiness when parents were reunited with the children and they showered blessings on me. Today, as I am promoted, my happiness has doubled," the ASI told NDTV.
Her task wasn’t an easy one. Dhaka was looking into cases, some dating as far back as 2013. Moreover, she didn’t hesitate to take up cases that were not under the incentive criteria i.e. cases in which the children were over 14 years old. "My aim was to recover as many kids as possible," she told News18.
Taking to Twitter, CP Shrivastava praised Dhaka for her “fighting spirit”.
Women HC Seema Dhaka, PS Samaypur Badli, deserves congratulations for being the first police person to be promoted out of turn for recovering 56 children in 3 months under incentive scheme. Hats off to fighting spirit and joy brought to families. @LtGovDelhi @HMOIndia @PMOIndia
— CP Delhi #DilKiPolice (@CPDelhi) November 18, 2020
IFS Officer Parveen Kaswan saluted the police officer for her hard work and success.
She is Seema Dhaka. A constable in Delhi police. She just became first Delhi Police Officer to get out of turn promotion for tracing 76 missing kids. Most of her cases involved children who had been separated from their families and disappeared years ago. Salute madam 🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/tqgXD4VLap
— Parveen Kaswan, IFS (@ParveenKaswan) November 18, 2020
From politicians to Bollywood celebrities, Dhaka’s inspiring and courageous attitude and sense of duty were appreciated by all.
— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) November 19, 2020
Even a million salutes are not enough for police personnel like Seema Dhaka! 🇮🇳 https://t.co/EYX4tiDsA8
— Gautam Gambhir (@GautamGambhir) November 19, 2020
DelhiPolice's Head Constable Seema Dhaka, with PS Samaypur Badli becomes the first police person to be promoted out of turn for recovering 56 #children in 3 months under an incentive scheme.Hats off to her dedication.She brought tremendous joy to lot of families! @devendrayadvinc pic.twitter.com/sUqPfXmB41
— Rukshmanii kumari (@KumariRukshmani) November 19, 2020
❤️🙏🏽thank you Seema Dhaka 💕 https://t.co/BdgBFBFm5C
— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) November 18, 2020
— Shama Mohamed (@drshamamohd) November 19, 2020
The promotion has only motivated Dhaka to carry on her duty with more passion. May more families reunite!