As armed forces around the world take initiatives to involve women in more productive roles, India refuses to stay behind. The Indian Navy recently announced that their officers are working on a policy that will allow women officers on-board warships. Commodore B K Munjal, in-charge of the Navy’s women contingent at Republic Day parade, said that in coming years, women in the Navy will walk shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts, according to Economic Times
He also said, “The higher authorities in the navy are working on the proposal. We are looking forward to it and hopefully it should be sorted out soon …The living conditions in ships are entirely different. So now, we are modifying the ships and designing them as per the conditions required for women officers.”
Women were first initiated in the forces in the Military Nursing Service in 1927 and later as medical officers cadre in 1943. The Navy had earlier allowed women doctors on board but the practice was later discontinued because of some logistical problems.
This announcement has come at a time when the first all-women contingent consisting of 148 female officers, will be marching in the Republic Day parade for the first time. Lt. Nandita Bharadwaj, one of the women officers, said, “The experience is great. It is a proud feeling to march on Rajpath. It is the first time for lady officers. I guess we should set the tradition and every year they should march.”
She also showed enthusiasm when asked if she would like to be a part of the Navy: “Definitely yes. Nowadays all the warships which are coming into the Indian Navy, have different provisions and different rooms for lady officers. In the next few years, lady officers will go onboard ships.”
[Feature Picture Courtesy: NavalJourney.com]