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3 women traffic cops are role models for girls

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By Our Reporter

SHILLONG, May 20: Ensuring smooth flow of traffic amid the chaos has made three women traffic police personnel role models for young girls, inspiring them to consider a career in law enforcement.
Two of them – Sabitri Rabha and Anjali Rabha – have been managing the traffic for about 35 years now. The newest addition to the team is Shengchirak Sangma, who joined the profession five years ago.
Constables at the Laitumkhrah Traffic Police Station, the three have become an integral part of Shillong’s traffic management system.
Sabitri and Anjali Rabha, who joined the force in 1988, told The Shillong Times how the traffic scenario has changed over the years. There were hardly any vehicles on the roads when they became traffic policewomen.
“The roads have remained almost as wide as they were back then, but the number of vehicles has increased maddeningly. Owing to the lack of public transport, the traffic during school hours is a mess,” Sabitri said.
Anjali said she feels good when young girls seek inspiration from her.
The trio loves their work for 7-8 hours a day and their only grudge is the lack of hygienic public restrooms. This is one of the reasons their seniors have assigned them traffic points in and around Laitumkhrah.
“We usually go to the nearest hospital or hotel to use their bathroom and pay Rs 5 or 10 per use. It is often not hygienic but we do not have options,” Sabitri Rabha said.
The lack of hygienic public toilets is also a major issue for women vendors from remote areas.
Sangma said she has not faced discrimination in the force or dominating seniors. “We have always been treated as equals by our seniors, colleagues, and even the passers-by,” she said.
The trio hopes more women come forward to join the traffic police force for better vehicular management.
The state has 305 traffic constables serving against 400 sanctioned posts.

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