New Delhi: India celebrated her 69th Republic Day on Friday with military might and cultural heritage on ample display at Rajpath. Hundreds of countrymen joined political leaders and 10 ASEAN leaders - chief guests for the event - in cheering parade participants. A very special cheer though was reserved for a contingent of BSF's women daredevils on motorcycles who stole the limelight with their incredibly brave stunts.
The squad - named Seema Bhavani - consisted of 113 women soldiers of BSF aged between 25 and 30 years. They were specially chosen from different ranks of BSF and trained on 350cc Royal Enfield bikes to become the first-ever women bikers' contingent at the Republic Day parade. Led by Sub-Inspector Stanzin Noryang, 28, the women showed just why they are no less than their male counterparts as they performed a number of stunts on Friday to get a rousing and standing ovation from a cheering crowd. Even the dignitaries were visibly impressed.
Their brave stunts though were a result of careful and dedicated training. Media reports previously quoted members of Seema Bhavani as saying that most of them did not even know how to ride bikes when they first joined BSF. That hardly deterred the team, consisting of women from Punjab, West Bengal, MP, Maharasthra, UP, Bihar, Gujarat, J&K, Chattisgarh, Manipur, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Delhi, Meghalaya and HP.
With a priority on fitness, the women riders trained on their bikes each day for several hours. Not every session was as simple as the women made it look during the parade. Many suffered many injuries but all of them kept their morale high and managed to delight an entire nation with their sheer determination and skill.