Women march for freedom this Republic Day

Rajpath has witnessed myriad landmark events that have shaped our history. And this Republic Day, it is about to witness another. For the very first time, 444 women officers from the Army, Navy and IAF shall march in celebration.


The parade will be performed by 148 women officers from each of the armed forces- one commanding officer, three platoon Commanders and 144 in the marching block, reports Times of India. This ceremony will be witnessed by US President Barack Obama as the Chief Guest, amongst other dignitaries like President Pranab Mukherjee and PM Modi of course.


To assemble the women for this parade was quite a task, as women still constitute a rather tiny minority in our armed forces. But the ones that did accept the offer were exuding oodles of enthusiasm.  NDTV went about their 6:30 am practice session on a misty, bone-chilling morning, to witness women officers in large numbers, having shown up without so much as a shred of complaint.


They asked some of the participants how and why they were so excited. Lieutenant Chippy K Devasia, 30, a Naval officer, decided to join the navy as a tribute to the man she loved- Lieutenant Commander Jose Mathew, who loved the Navy and died in an accident. So did the wife of Commander Kuntal Wadhava, who died in a tragic accident aboard the INS Kolkata. “I am a Navy Girl, being in the Forces perhaps come naturally me,” she said.


As for Lieutenant Surabhi Gandhi from Himachal, she can hardly contain her excitement over marching shoulder to shoulder with to her younger sister, Lieutenant Soloni Gandhi, who is two years her  junior in the Navy. “Just imagine how happy our family will be on the 26th when both of us march down Rajpath with President Obama and President Pranab Mukerjee and Prime Minister Modi watching us,” she said.


“It was always my dream to join the Air Force, and now I will be participating in a historic event” Squadron Leader Sneha Shekawat, who will lead the IAF contingent, told NDTV. “The nation and President Obama will know we are the best,” declared Flight Lieutenant SS Mythraye.


The celebratory spirit in their hearts will be two-fold- to commemorate the 65th Republic day, and to revel in the vibe of women empowerment that PM Narendra Modi is hoping to establish through this pilot parade.


Sources: TOINDTV