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Photos: Saji Kaur Sahota

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Beautiful Lives - II:
Rupinder Kaur,
Peacekeeper -
The Kaur Project

THE KAUR PROJECT

 

 

 





RUPINDER KAUR

For me, being a ‘Kaur’ represents a sense of fearlessness. It’s partly being maternal, but not in the normal meaning of the word, just someone who fights for equality and justice. I think of Mai Bhago. She was a warrior and I can’t help but think of her and not want to be her. She fought for what was right and that is exactly what I want to do.

I was born and raised in Surrey, British Columbia. My entire life I have looked up to my mom, been in awe of her, proud of her abilities and her strength. She is a hard worker and has made several sacrifices to raise my siblings and I. She’s the role model every young woman needs. My mom, during times of difficulties, is the person who is able to see the positivity of a situation. Really though, she embodies the pillars of Sikhism and has shaped my outlook.

Both of my parents instilled Sikh values in our household. My father ensured we spoke Punjabi at home and I have fond memories of going to the Surrey Gurdwara in the evenings with him. I grew up as a bit of a tomboy. I hung out with my brothers doing things boys typically do. I remember my mom would try to make me wear dresses but I wasn’t interested. It wasn’t until high school I started dressing more like a girl should.

I knew at an early age law enforcement and being a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (‘RCMP’) officer is what I wanted. Family, especially my mom, tried to change my mind because it’s considered a dangerous job. She finally accepted the idea, but only if I agreed to attend University and obtain a degree.

RCMP training in Regina, Saskatchewan was a huge change, it was an experience that completely changed my life. It tested my strength and willpower. I find it so interesting, my Baba ji (grandfather) was in the British-Indian Army and his dream was to have a grandson follow his footsteps and make him proud.  His photo hangs in the family home and every time I look at his photo, I know I have made him proud.

I started my policing career in Richmond, with General Duty and then as School Liaison Officer. I then moved into detective work and took on investigating more complex files. I am now a Corporal, Road Supervisor in Surrey. I admit, I was unsure of what people, especially our community’s, response would be with me being a woman, especially a woman of colour.

Overall, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.  There is a sense of respect and connection. I am always wearing my karra and being fluent in Punjabi and understanding our culture has proven to be a definite asset. 

My main purpose in life is to help people. I receive so much joy from helping people through my police and volunteer work. My mom has always said to perform good deeds and do good in the world. She is the proudest mom ever, completely supportive and my catharsis when I need it most. 

When I got promoted and was reporting for my first shift in Surrey, I had my mom put my epaulets on my uniform shirt. It was emotional for both of us especially seeing the tears in her eyes and her telling me how proud she was of me.

I like to take the time and listen to the community’s concerns during the calls I attend. I spend time with the females and try to give them information and direction about resources like the Surrey’s Women Centre that would help them. Mostly though, I listen to their stories and give them a chance to share and speak their minds. This gives them hope, sometimes when they need it most.

Outside of my work, I am working towards a Masters Degree in police leadership. I am also on the Board of Directors with the Surrey Women’s Centre.  All of my roles have provided me with invaluable experience to think and take steps towards the future.

 

[Courtesy: Saji Kaur Sahota & Jessie Kaur Lehail, The Kaur Project. Edited for sikhchic.com]
February 18, 2017 

 

 

Conversation about this article

1: Sangat Singh (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia), February 18, 2017, 3:31 PM.

How very lucky are we to have Guru Granth Sahib that has a shabad for every occasion. This most beautiful and appropriate shabad comes to mind in thanksgiving. Rupinder ji, you are appointed by the Guru to do his bidding. You are the Guru’s wrestler. “I have thrown the five challengers (Temptations) to the ground, and the Guru has blessed me" [GGS:73]. What else can one add when you have Guru Sahib's pat on your back?

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Rupinder Kaur,
Peacekeeper -
The Kaur Project "









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