By P.T. Bopanna
Dr Suman D. Pennekar, the outgoing SP of Kodagu (Coorg) district in Karnataka, had won the hearts of people in this hill district through hard work and fearless policing.
Suman, an ayurvedic doctor from Beedi in Belgaum, played a critical role in the rescue and relief operations when Kodagu was hit by a major landslide in 2018. She led the team involved in rescuing stranded people in flood-affected areas in remote villages.
The SP along with the DC Annies Joy worked as a team both during the two consecutive floods in the last two years and also in taking regulatory measures to tackle the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It was on account of these measures that Kodagu had remained a green zone for the last couple of months.
One of the major achievements of Suman was in dealing with the notorious timber smugglers. She led a team in arresting the alleged kingpin of the timber mafia Kallichanda Noban and seized timber worth Rs 1 crore after a raid on his house. She also clamped down on drug peddlers and solved major criminal cases.
Suman, the daughter of a retired school teacher, who secured 126th rank in the civil services exam, was quoted as saying: “I always wanted to pursue something that is service-oriented, which is why I chose to be a doctor. But I realised that the civil services offer greater scope for it. My main goal is to improve the situation of rural India, which I have experienced first-hand.”
True to form, she admitted her daughter in an anganawadi, a government run Kannada medium institution. Explaining her decision, she was quoted as saying: “I want my child to have a normal schooling without any pressure and enjoy her childhood.”