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Fit, female and filled with fighting spirit

Staff Reporter
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Six women BSF sub-inspectors graduate with accolades

RARING TO GO:Sub-inspectors Pooja Mandrwal, Reena Rathee, Yashoda Yadav, Reena Sharma and Kamlesh Meena pose with Jagdish Maithani, Senior Instructor, at the at the Subsidiary Training Centre, Border Security Force, Yelahanka, in Bangalore, on Friday.
RARING TO GO:Sub-inspectors Pooja Mandrwal, Reena Rathee, Yashoda Yadav, Reena Sharma and Kamlesh Meena pose with Jagdish Maithani, Senior Instructor, at the at the Subsidiary Training Centre, Border Security Force, Yelahanka, in Bangalore, on Friday.

“We are ready to be posted on the border. We can show that we are no less than our male colleagues.”

This was the chorus by the six women sub-inspectors of the Border Security Force (BSF), who graduated here on Friday.

A total of 178 sub-inspectors (direct entry) graduated after completing 48 weeks of basic training at the Subsidiary Training Centre, BSF, Yelahanka. This is the BSF’s only training academy for women in the country. Some of the graduates will be deployed on international borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh, and other in battalions deployed for counter-insurgency and anti-naxal operations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.

The sub-inspectors, including Reena Rathee and Reena Sharma from Haryana, Yashoda Yadav and Pooja Mandrwal from Uttarakand, Kamlesh Meena from Rajasthan and Binu Rani from Uttar Pradesh, were cheered on by their families during the march past. Governor H.R. Bhardwaj received the guard of honour.

Ms. Sharma, the first from her family to join a paramilitary force, said that her father, a farmer, is her source of inspiration. She joined the BSF to prove that women are no less than men and hoped more women joined the security force.

Agreeing, Ms. Rani said that there was a lot of requirement of women security force at the border areas. Ms. Rathee said she wanted to join BSF and was earlier a Central Industrial Security Force constable.

Jagdish Maithani, Second in Command and Senior Instructor, Subsidiary Training Centre, told The Hindu that generally, the physical standards of men and women are at different scales. “With intensive training, it was brought to the same scale. These young women are as physically fit as their male counterparts.”

Stating that there was greater need for women in the BSF, he said the women (referring to the six who graduated) were more disciplined and tougher. They have undergone intensive physical training, weaponry, field craft, battle craft, field engineering, map reading, border management, law, human rights and disaster management. Earlier, Mr. Bhardwaj gave away trophies to the sub-inspectors who had excelled in different subjects.

SI Ranjeet Beda bagged the trophies for overall first in the batch and best in outdoor subjects. SI Pradeep Kumar bagged the trophy for best in indoor subjects, while SI Rinchen Dorjee Bhutia was the sharpest marksman. SI Manoj Singh Kunwar and SI Mohinder Singh were given trophies for best in computer awareness and best in drill respectively.

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