New Delhi: As armed forces prepare to showcase "Nari Shakti" at the Republic Day parade on January 26, the Navy is working on a policy to allow women officers on-board warships in the next few years.
"The living conditions in ships are entirely different. So now, we are modifying the ships and designing them as per the conditions required for women officers," Commodore BK Munjal, who is in-charge of the Navy's women contingent at Republic Day parade said.
He said the country will "soon" have women officers fighting shoulder to shoulder with men in every field.
Munjal said higher authorities in the Navy are working on the proposal and a decision should come soon.
"We are looking forward to it and hopefully it should be sorted out soon," he told PTI here.
While all the three wings of the armed forces have women officers on the roll, combat duties are not extended to them.
For the first time in history, all women contingents from the Navy, Air Force and the Army will march down the Rajpath this Republic Day following a suggestion from Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself.
"It was a suggestion by the Prime Minister that we should try and showcase Nari Shakti (women power)," a senior Navy officer said.
The women officers, who have been practicing for nearly a month for hours together, are looking forward to it.
"The experience is great, it is a proud feeling to march on Rajpath. It is the first time for lady officers. I guess we should set the tradition and every year they should march," Lieutenant Nandita Bharadwaj said.
Asked whether she would want to go on a ship and serve shoulder to shoulder with men, she said, "Definitely yes. Nowadays all the warships which are coming in Indian Navy, have different provisions and different rooms for lady officers. In the next few years, lady officers will go onboard ships," she said.
Her views were echoed by Lt Deepika Chaudhary who said the Shivalik Class ships have been designed to accommodate women officers.
"The higher authorities have to decide when they want lady officers to sail," she said.