Large muscular men bodyguards dressed in black is a myth. Meet Veena Gupta, India’s first lady bodyguard who is breaking all gender norms with her courageous attitude and determination. Making power her greatest strength, Veena is a true embodiment of bravery, power and supremacy. Since childhood, she is known for her rebellious nature and standing against unfair behaviour and actions.
“I strongly feel that the belief that only men can protect people is an incorrect belief system. Women are equally capable of protecting themselves, their families and society,” says Veena oftentimes.
She also runs Seam Risk Solutions which offers modern security services. Veena specialises in formulating integrated security solutions by using modern security management techniques. With over 20 years of experience, she has expertise in various domains like Risk and Disaster management solutions, Business Continuity Plans, and Security Consultancy & Audits.
Let’s hear the story of Veena Gupta in her own words.
Give us a glimpse of yourself and walk us through your journey of becoming India’s 1st female bodyguard.
Born into an orthodox family, my nature has been rebellious since childhood. I always spoke against the voices that say, “Don’t do this or that because you are a girl”. I have 6 siblings and they always used to ask for my help whenever someone disturbed them. I always wondered how I could save my sisters from eve-teasing, stalking, and any other misbehaviour. After completing my graduation, I started a job in the hospitality sector. But a 9-5 job did not give me the satisfaction I was craving for.
Life went on. I got married and gave birth to a beautiful daughter. And once again, the thought of protecting my daughter from eve-teasing and all sorts of vicious aspects of society came to my mind. But I always believe that God is listening to us all and he has the answer to all our questions. The same happened to me.
While we were in Gurgaon, I was looking for a job that would also spare me some time to take care of my daughter. An MNC company was looking for a security officer who could take care of their business. And since I belonged to a business and sales background and had knowledge in the respective domain, I fitted perfectly in the role. That’s how my journey pivoted in 2000 and paved the way for this wonderful career.
Since this is a male-dominated profession, how difficult was your journey as a Security Officer?
Well, the entire security industry in India is male-dominated because people believe that only men who have ‘giant’ muscles can protect someone. But this is not the case in many international countries. In other countries, people don’t really care about the gender of the person and only consider if the person has professional competencies or not.
I worked with many international agencies and firms that showed trust in me and my abilities as a security officer and hired me to provide security. I have protected one of the richest tycoons in the USA.
I can confidently say that a woman is as good as a Security officer as a man can be. It is just a misconception that women are weak. People believe in my potential and this is the biggest achievement that I have earned in my entire journey.
You seem very attached to your daughter, what role has she played in your entire journey?
My daughter is my biggest critic and my best buddy. She gives me the strength to keep moving forward. I still remember the days when I had to leave the home for my work duties even when she was down with fever. The mother in me didn’t want to leave the sick child behind. But it was my daughter who motivated me to perform my work duties first.
She supported me through thick and thin in my journey. She matured before her age, she understood it quite well that someone was trusting her mother for their life. I can proudly say that my daughter is my pillar of strength.
How do you feel at the end of the day thinking about your work; training hundreds of women across the country in self-defence and self-security for free?
I think this is a gift given by God to me. My heart fills with satisfaction while acknowledging the fact that I bring a change in the lives of many women out there. I feel fulfilled when I see the transformation in girls when they learn self-defence. The girls who come to learn self-defence develop a unique bond with me. They get so comfortable that they share everything with me and I think that is no less than a blessing. The peace and satisfaction I receive from teaching self-defence are beyond anything else.
What would your advice be for women? How can they build their inner strength?
My mantra in life is “Chance, Choose, and Choice”. If you get the chance, work hard to prove your worth to the world. I believe that there is nothing that a woman cannot achieve, provided she has the zeal and passion to do that task. It is your inner strength that can take you to the ultimate heights and nothing else. People can guide you, but ultimately you have to fight your own battle.