Freshly inducted women personnel of the ITBP will be deployed for the first time to provide security and assistance to the pilgrims during the 26-day annual Kailash Mansarovar Yatra commencing in May this year.

The Yatra which involves circumambulation of Mount Kailash and Mansarovar Lake in Tibet will start on May 29 and will be over by September 24 with approximately 960 people undertaking the pilgrimage.

The Indo -Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), which provides security and logistical help to the ‘yatris’, will deploy its first-ever contingent of women personnel which is passing out soon.

“A total of 380 women personnel will join the ranks in February and March in two separate batches. A good number of them will be deployed for the Mansarovar Yatra duties,” a senior ITBP officer said.

The personnel will be of great help in providing assistance to women pilgrims and children who undertake the arduous journey, the officer said.

There will be 16 batches of 60 ‘yatris’ each.

The fresh recruits will finish their 44-week basic training in unarmed combat, weapon handling, firing, frisking and commando training and other special skills like mountaineering.

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra will be completed in 26 days. The journey involves trekking at inhospitable terrain at high altitudes upto almost 19,500 feet.

Personnel of the mountain-trained ITBP would assist the yatra by providing telecommunication services through satellite phones, high-altitude medical check-up and an overall security cover to the devotees.

Apart from these duties, the ITBP will also carry out evacuation operation in case of emergencies, the officer said.

According to a Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) notification, yatris will need to spend a few days in the national capital to obtain visas, undergo a comprehensive medical examination and complete financial formalities.

The Kailash Mansarovar Yatra is organised by the MEA, in coordination with various state and Central government agencies since 1981 under a bilateral arrangement between India and China.