Arti Dogra, an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer of Rajasthan cadre has emerged as an example in the administrative class of women IAS across the country and it would not be wrong to say that she has introduced several models for change in society.
Born in Dehradun, Uttarakhand, Arti is 3 feet and 6 inches tall, whose story starts from facing discrimination and bullying due to her short height and goes up to be a tale of enormous respect and success as an IAS officer.
Birth and Family
She was born in July 1979, in Dehradun, Uttarakhand to an army officer Colonel Rajendra Dogra and a school principal Kumkum Dogra and is a single girl child. Her parents were told by the doctors at the time of her birth that she won’t have normal physical growth, they were told to send her to special schools for differently-abled children but she was brought up in normal surroundings amid normal children and schools.
According to her, her parents have always been a constant strong support system for her. Arti Dogra further states in her interviews, that her parents were constantly advised by everyone to have a second baby, a normal boy child, but they were happy with her single baby girl child. And to be honest, their confidence in their daughter has paid them off really well.
She did her schooling from the very prestigious Welham Girls School in Dehradun. Further, she went to Delhi for her higher studies and completed her graduation from Lady Shri Ram College (Delhi University) in economics. And then she went back to Dehradun to pursue her post-graduation.
So everyone has some sort of motivation in their life. Arti always had her parents at her back for that. Apart from that, she was immensely inspired by the first female IAS officer from Dehradun, IAS Manisha Panwar (currently serving as Principal Secretary in the government of Uttarakhand). Arti met her while she was pursuing her post-graduation from Dehradun, Manisha Panwar became an inspiration for her and from then on, her fast track journey towards the civil services began.
Arti Dogra cleared her civil services exam in her first-ever attempt in 2005 with an AIR-56. She is from the Rajasthan cadre 2006 batch. And from there on, her journey as a dedicated public servant started. She has served at various positions in the Rajasthan government since then.
She was the first-ever female IAS officer to serve as the managing director (MD) of Discom (Distribution Company) Jodhpur-Jodhpur Vidyut Vitran Nigam Ltd.
She has served as both sub-district collector/magistrate (SDM) and district magistrate (DM) of Ajmer.
She has served as the DM of Bikaner and Bundi and as the district election officer of Ajmer.
She has served as the joint secretary in 2018 to the chief minister of Rajasthan, Mr. Ashok Gehlot.
Banko Bikano: A community-led sanitation campaign in Bikaner was initiated by Arti Dogra. It was a water and land sanitation awareness program to stop open defecation. As a result, hundreds of cost and structure effective toilets were constructed in 195-gram panchayat areas by the residents themselves, and the whole process was monitored by mobile applications by the government officials. Further, this campaign was spread across various nearby districts too.
Doctors for Doctors: While she was the DM of Bikaner, she started this unique trend where she encouraged doctors to adopt orphan, poor, and helpless girl children born in their own hospitals. As a result, 40 doctors took the responsibility of basic education, food, and shelter of 40 girl children and this trend is still going on strong in the district.
While serving in the Discom Jodhpur, she made sure that the responsibility for efficient, controlled and reduced use of energy was equally put on everyone from junior engineers to chief engineers. A total of 3 lakhs of 27 thousand and 819 LEDs were distributed throughout the district to make sure energy reached each and every one at the lowest wattage and cost.
A mission against anaemia was also launched by her to tackle the problem. While serving as the district election officer of Ajmer, she initiated a 4 km walk of administrative officers and police department of the district on October 16, 2018, prior to the assembly elections that were to be held in 2018, December for ensuring maximum voting.
She encouraged the differently-abled people to cast their vote in the elections, arranged vehicles and Divyang Raths for them, and assigned the Booth Level Officers for their assistance and motivation. She also provided around 874 wheelchairs for them due to which 17,000 differently-abled people came to cast their votes. It was for her and her team that a record 59.88% differently-abled people turned up to take part in the democratic exercise to elect the representatives to the state assembly.
Awards and Recognition
Arti Dogra received the National Award in 2019 from President of India, Ram Nath Kovind with Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on the side for her starring performance as the District Election Officer in the Ajmer assembly elections 2018.
The representatives from Britain, USA, UAE, Thailand, Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, etc visited India to get to know about the Bunko Bikano initiative and have been appreciating her efforts in the process.
She became the favourite officer of Vasundhara Raje Scindia (former CM of Rajasthan) while working as DM of Ajmer. Ms. Scindia appreciated her willingness for a better administration. Current CM of Rajasthan Mr. Ashok Gehlot praises her too along with our honourable PM Narendra Modi.
She was honoured at Rajasthan’s 4th edition of Healthcare summit held in Jaipur themed “Daughters are Precious” in 2018 January. Along with this, she has been recognized and awarded various times on the state and national levels.
Her parents said that when people said you need to have a healthy boy, her parents said we have our lovely daughter. When she cracked the toughest civil service exam, people said finally now you won’t feel the lack of a boy, as her parents said, we have never ever felt it before too. Such were the roots and so is the fruit.
In her administrative career so far, IAS officer Arti Dogra has already acclaimed innumerable laurels. She is the epitome of ‘standing against all odds’!