First ever 500-women battalion to guard Indo-Sino border
The Indo-Tibet Border Police (ITBP) has finally trained its first set of female constables to guard the Indo-China border in March this year. These 500 women did a passing out parade on the occasion of their induction into the ground army at the Panchkula’s Bhanu Camp. They were trained in a 44-week long process including battle craft and mountain survival.
“You will be further trained in field training and high-altitude acclimatization before your final deployment. I am sure you will do the country and the force proud,” motivated D-G Krishana Choudhary, the Executive of the Agency at the Basic Training Camp, reported by The Citizen.
Currently, ITBP, which came into existence in 1962, has about 72000 personnels among which a dismal 1661 are women. And in these women, 1033 are constables. Untill this year, women were not allowed to combat with the enemy, but now that has changed and women too will fight on the ground. ITBP has announced to bring in at least 40% women troops in the total army. Earlier, women were only restricted to civilian protection, frisking women and maintaining law and order.
The largest number of women inducted in this batch of female constables is from Uttarakhand coming up to 97, and Uttar Pradesh and Bihar are trailing behind it contributing 63 and 51 respectively. Other states like Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Punjab, Maharashtra, Gujarat, J&K, Jharkhand, Assam, and Chhattisgarh have also sent in some women who got selected in this battalion.
When asked about any inhibitions they had while equipping women in combat roles, “we had little apprehension about the confidence of women constables earlier. Many senior officers have been interacting with them from time-to-time. Half of them are college graduates and you can see their confidence yourself. They will do well,” said Choudhary in an interview with Indian Express.
Few months back the Indian Air force had already announced that they will induct women in fighter roles. Right after this announcement, even ITBP gladly took it on them to employ women in combat. And now they have already begun the inducting process. It is a huge leap forward in women empowerment and with the Director General of ITBP having so much faith in women, it certainly adds to the joy.
Picture Credit- TOI