Wisdom Stories Ep.8: Ms. Manjari Jaruhar

Ms. Manjari Jaruhar, Bihar's first woman IPS officer

Cultural expectations surrounding the elderly are being challenged today, and with good reason!

While it was the norm to slow down and retreat into a quieter life post-retirement, more men and women are finding purpose and joy in doing the opposite.

WisdomCircle honours such men and women by shining light on their journey through an inspiring series called “Wisdom Stories”. These people have successfully smashed stereotypes, and their stories remind us that life should be lived to the fullest, no matter what age or stage.

Qualifying for the IPS was a turning point in my life because I had been brought up in a sheltered environment. Unforeseen circumstances led me to a career in the first place, and that too, one as tough as the IPS! I was the first lady officer from Bihar, and despite a successful training stint behind me, I initially faced a lot of pushback. I struggled for my district training and subsequently my posting as well, till I was posted under D.I.G. Mr L. V. Singh, who took genuine interest in my career. He used to say, “The chair is not important. The person who sits on the chair is important.”

“Keep moving forward”

It took me a long time to get a district posting, which is critical for any IPS officer. As SP of Bokaro District, I was surprised by my success. I worked very hard for those 3 years, looking after a district which had a major public sector undertaking and its township. On the back of this stint, I was handpicked by Mr Julio Ribeiro for the National Police Academy, where I got the opportunity to train 500 Police Officers. My horizons widened immensely in this role. 

“The chair is not important. The person who sits on the chair is important.”


Post retirement, I was invited by TCS to be Homeland Advisor as well as by Mr Ribeiro to work in the Indian Music Industry. I was also involved with the Novo-Nordisk Foundation in Bihar and am currently active with FICCI.

I authored “Madam Sir” to share my story. If my story encourages more women to have a career, I will feel immensely satisfied. A change I would like to see is girls being treated on par with boys at home.

Chronicling her journey as the first lady officer of Bihar in her book “Madam Sir”

My advice to retired folks is not to think that retirement is a break. Take up the challenge to reinvent yourself. Don’t wait for people to come to you. Offer your services to them and get going!”

Manjari Jaruhar, Former Special Director General of Police

Photo and Interview Credits: Saonli Sen Choudhury of WisdomCircle

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