The world has seen Indian women make a mark in almost every field. From medicine to astronomy, beauty pageants to acting, army to air force, banking to business, police to legal services, Indian women have been performing par excellence every where. It is no exception in the field of detective services too. And this is very well proved by Rajani Pandit, the first woman private detective of India.
Rajani Pandit has been managing Rajani Pandit Detective Services, her private investigation company, for more than 25 years now and has a team of over 20 people. Hailed as the ‘Lady Sherlock Holmes of India’, she has solved more than 75,000 cases in her investigation career since 1991 and has won about 57 awards.
Rajani Pandit’s journey has been far from easy but her passion for investigation helped her overcome all the hurdles she came across.
She told the Times of India that her father, Shantaram Pandit, was a CID inspector in the Mumbai Police and had even worked on the Mahatma Gandhi murder case.
Ever since her childhood, Rajani had an inclination towards the cases her father was working on. She also wondered why people could not get justice directly through the police, and then something happened that planted the idea of becoming a private detective in her mind.
Sharing an incident from her college, Rajani Pandit said,
When I was in college, I used to see a girl in my class who would everyday go out with the wrong kind of boys and indulge in smoking and drinking and I decided to take it to her parents. I needed to find out her address and so I went to the college clerk and told him that I was her friend and needed to send her a gift and so he gave me her address. I went to her house and told her parents, took her dad with me in a taxi which I paid for with my own pocket money that I had saved and showed him what his daughter was doing. He asked me, ‘Aap jasoos ho?’ and my mind started thinking.
But she went on to complete her graduation and then took up a short-term job. During the tenure of this job, she volunteered to help one of her colleagues. After this, she decided to take up her dream work of being a private detective full time.
She wanted to advertise in a Marathi daily but the paper didn’t accept her request. Co-incidentally, she helped the friend of the editor solve a case and then got her interview published. Then on, she didn’t ever feel the need for publicity as word of mouth did the work for her.
Ever since then, she has solved a number of tricky and interesting cases. For solving these cases, she had to disguise herself in several roles such as that of a maidservant, a pregnant woman, a blind woman, a street vendor and a number of others. Most of the cases she has solved so far revolved around involvement of couples in extra-marital affairs or that of finding details about boy or girl in an arranged marriage.
Among the many awards she has won are Lux Sahyadri Hirkani Award and Kiah Diamond Jewellery Woman of the Month.
Rajani feels that over the time, the work of detective has become quite easy, owing to the availability of several advanced equipment such as bugs, spy cameras, good quality recorders, and a lot more. The first female private detective of India does not make crores of rupees every year but gets great satisfaction once a case is solved.
She says, “I work 14 hours a day and make 8-10 lakhs a year that is more than enough for me. I have not come into this profession for name, fame or money. I just want to help as many people as I can.”