A women-only  team of the Indian Army successfully conducted a four-day patrol alongside Line of Actual Control (LAC)  in Arunachal Pradesh, Kohima-based defence spokesman Col Chiranjit Konwer said on Friday. The team started their patrolling from Kibuthu, Anjaw district in Arunachal Pradesh on August 10 and contained personnel from Indian Army, Assam Rifles and the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP).

“The team etched a name for itself in the annals of history by becoming the maiden all women team to accomplish adventure cum operational patrolling in the Himalayas,” the statement said.

The team comprised of a total of 18 soldiers in total and the official said in the statement that these women in uniform also exhibited the tremendous potential of ‘Nari Shakti‘.

Women-only team
Women take charge at the border Pic credit: MoD

“Four days of patrolling through difficult terrain that crisscrossed mountains, streams and dense forests tested grit, determination and navigational skills of the patrol members, to truly epitomise women empowerment on the 73rd year of our nation’s Independence,” the statement said.

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The press release by defence ministry stated that the spirited young women underwent physical conditioning exercises, basic lessons on mountaineering, jungle survival and motivation. The adventurous route tested their navigation skills in difficult terrain crisscrossing streams and dense forests.

Lieutenant General MM Naravane, GOC- in-C, Eastern Command praised the grit, professionalism and determination of the women soldiers. He further highlighted that such events showcase the synergy that exists between the Security Forces deployed in the North East and give strength to our nation, the release added.

“Four days of patrolling through difficult terrain that crisscrossed mountains, streams and dense forests tested grit, determination and navigational skills of the patrol members, to truly epitomize women empowerment on the 73rd year of our nation’s Independence,”

The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has also been contemplating on forming an all-women mountaineering team as more women are taking interest in adventure sports. “We have observed that women personnel are showing keen interest in adventure sports such as mountain climbing and trekking. A group of 14 women undertook advanced course training in mountaineering from the Mountain and Skiing Institute (M&SI) in Auli, Uttarakhand. There is an idea to have a dedicated all-women mountaineering team,” said ITBP chief in July.

The team patrolled through a difficult terrain Pic: MoD

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ITBP started to recruit women personnel in 2017 and since then these soldiers have been posted along the India-China border from Arunachal Pradesh to Ladakh. It has also opened combat roles for women officers.

Earlier this year in April, Indian Army shared an ad in the newspaper to recruit women as soldiers into the Military Police. They started online registration and also put out an advertisement for recruitment in the Corps of Military Police (CMP). This is the first time in the history that Indian Army pushed to recruit women as soldiers in the CMP. It aimed at inducting around 800 women in Military Police with a yearly intake of 52 personnel per year.

Picture credit: Ministry of Defence

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