Women in BSF break glass ceiling, march with men for first time

By The CoolAge Reporter
From Buzz@Bangalore, Bangalore
Posted Dec 3rd 2013 2:35AM

NEW DELHI: The Border Security Force on Sunday gave its mahila contingent its due. For the first time in the history of BSF Day Parade, the BSF mahila contingent marched with Berretta and X95 weapons shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts on the occasion of 48th BSF Day held at Chhawla Camp in Delhi on Sunday.

Dressed in camouflaged disruptive pattern uniform, mahila marching foot contingent consisted of one woman officer identified as Dr Shafina Sawhney, two SOs and 42 mahila constables. This was accompanied by an impressive parade and march past by 11 frontiers contingent, camel contingent and camel band, a BSF routine on its raising day celebrations.

The honour for the female combatants has come five years after the first induction of mahila constables in 2008 followed by induction of sub inspector in 2009. The force will induct female officers in operational duties for the first time in 2014.

Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar, who was the chief guest at the event, said, "Women are now breaking male bastions. And, you (BSF) have also changed with changing times...I must thank you for amending your rules to let women also be admitted into the force. This is a sign of a new age."

On the sidelines of the event, Kumar also spoke on the recent sexual harassment controversy involving Tehelka founder-editor Tarun Tejpal. She said, "Last December, we introduced a Bill for violence issues related to women...and this very stringent law will now ensure that offenders will know that their acts could and will invite action on them." BSF director general Subhash Joshi, in his opening address during the function, outlined the charter of duties for the paramilitary in the future.

"The government has now entrusted us with a new responsibility of guarding the 1,643km long India-Myanmar border. This work is challenging but we will take this new responsibility with due diligence," Joshi said.

He said the force, which at present guards Indian frontiers with Pakistan and Bangladesh, has rendered relief and rescue works during the June flood tragedy in Uttarakhand.

"We have been actively involved in the relief, rescue and rehabilitation work in Uttarakhand. In Rudraprayag, we had to carry out heavy-duty rehabilitation in 12 villages," Joshi said.

Credit: Times Of India source:defencelover.in
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