Amritsar: After undergoing nearly 38 months of rigorous training, the first batch of Indian women troopers on Friday joined duty at the international border in Punjab.
This is the first time that women officials, inducted in the Border Security Force (BSF), are guarding international borders.
"Today, after a formal ceremony called `sainik sammelan`, all the girls have joined their duty on the border. They are all very energetic and full of enthusiasm. In fact, they have already started their work and are busy frisking people and guiding them on the border checkposts," BSF Punjab frontier deputy inspector general (DIG) Jagir Singh told a media service in this border town, about 250 km from the state capital Chandigarh.
BSF had inducted 178 girls, all of whom have been trained in tackling any kind of emergency and handling sophisticated weapons. Of these, 118 are deployed along the 553-km fenced India-Pakistan border in Punjab near Amritsar while 60 have been posted on the India-Bangladesh border.
The passing out parade of these newly inducted troopers was held July 25 this year at the BSF`s Kharkan training camp near Hoshiarpur town with union Home Minister P. Chidambaram and BSF Director General M.L. Kumawat looking on.
"The women troopers will cover all the BOPs (border outposts). For the time being, they will be assigned only non-combat duties and will not carry arms," said Jagir Singh.
Most of the new recruits are between 19 and 25 years of age. Among them, 14 are postgraduates, 22 graduates and 128 have studied up to Class 12. The recruits include 25 sportspersons and 11 National Cadet Corps (NCC) volunteers.