A first in India’s defense history, a contingent of 500 women personnel will be deployed in high-altitude posts along the India-China border. They have been recently commissioned into the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) in Panchkula.
These 500 women are of constable rank and were inducted in ITBP’s border-guarding force only after they completed the 44-weeks training.
In these 44-weeks they were trained in many aspects of border protection and mountain survival.
With their training now complete, these women have now been sent to the Indian frontiers for their final acclimatization training with regards to their duty, after which they would be deployed at ITBP posts which runs along the 3,488-km Sino-India Line of Actual Control (LAC).
The posts for this ‘mahila’ contingent are expected to come by March this year, with over 20 forward locations expected in the list.
These 20 locations are located at the heights of 8,000 to 14,000 feet, including the ‘Mana pass’ border post which is the last village on the Indian territory, and is located in Uttarakhand. In an attempt to make their graduation memorable, ITBP director general Krishna Chaudhary, recently reviewed the ‘passing out parade’ of these new personnel and have asked them to exhibit the best skills that they have learnt during training.
The training would help them discharge their duties in some of the most difficult locations in the Himalayan ranges.
Talking to these women, DG Chaudhary said:
“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.”
What makes this training and force special is that this is the first time that India would be deploying women troops right at the border’s front.
With regard to Indo-China border, these soldiers have to combat extreme weather condition and deal with mountainous terrain. ITBP, came into existence after the aftermath of 1962’s Chinese aggression, and has since then on the forefront of Indo-China border.
Looking at the fact that women would now be also posted in the front, they have also started creating logistical and residential facilities for women personnel at these 20 posts.
These residential facilities are expected to be completed by early March, the time these women would be deployed there.
From March onwards, the force plans to have at least 40 per cent of its strength at these forward posts to be women personnel.
ITBP started recruiting these women in February 2015, and have been training them ever since. These recruitments hail from various parts of India with majority (97) coming from the hill state of Uttarakhand. Besides these 97, there are 10 female recruits from Himachal Pradesh, 51 from Bihar, 11 from Haryana, 22 from Rajasthan, 63 from Uttar Pradesh and 35 from Maharashtra.
There are also 11 cadets who hail from Punjab, 35 from Assam, 6 from Chhattisgarh, 21 from Gujarat, 26 from the state of Jharkhand and one each from Delhi and Andhra Pradesh.
There are also three women who belong to Jammu and Kashmir.
Though, ITBP initially only had men constables, from 2008 onwards women constables also got inducted into this strong force of about 70,000.
Though women constables have been part of this force for the past eight years, it is only now that they are being deployed at the front.
At present, ITBP has a total of 1,661 women personnel within its force. Out of these 1,661 personnels, 1,033 are of constabulary ranks, and other 628 are of various other ranks and in other branches of work.