Woman CRPF officer proves no job is a male bastion

Serving as Assistant Commandant of the 198 CRPF Battalion in Visakhapatnam district is Kanchan Yadav, a gritty police officer who epitomises the fact that no job can be out of reach for a woman. The CRPF officer has seen her share of violence — she was posted in Srinagar from 2014 to 2017 at a time when the Valley was engulfed in a wave of stone-pelting and unrest.

It was during this time that Ms. Yadav began to be referred to as ‘Lady Singham’ by her male peers, a sobriquet that she modestly shrugs off.

Unrest in Valley

Ms. Yadav was the lone woman officer who was part of the operations to take on stone-pelting mobs in Downtown Srinagar in Kashmir Valley. "Earlier, the stone-pelting used to be done by the mobs only on Fridays or Sundays, but after the Burhan Wani encounter, it became an everyday affair. Each day was a challenge for me and my company," Ms. Yadav says.

Was she ever afraid? "I was never overcome by fear as my brothers in arms were always by my side. When it comes to operations, there is no hierarchy, and we work together for the safety and security of our people and the nation," Ms. Yadav says.

Stellar career

After completing her B.Sc in zoology from Delhi University, Ms. Yadav wrote the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) examination and qualified on her first attempt in 2010.

Thereafter, she was sent for basic training in 2012 and was inducted into the 44th Battalion in January 2014.

It was baptism by fire, as her first posting was in downtown Srinagar. She was given a choice to work at Battalion Headquarters, but she preferred to be with her company in the conflict zone.

It runs in the family

For Ms. Yadav, a career in the CRPF was what she was destined for, as she had made up her mind as a child.

"I come from a family that has donned the uniform. My grandfather was with the CRPF and my father with the Indian Air Force. My mother is still a serving officer in the CRPF. I was inspired by her," says Ms. Yadav.

On why she preferred to join the CRPF, Ms. Yadav says, "The scope of other forces such as Border Security Force (BSF) or Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) is limited. CRPF is deployed across the country. Working for the CRPF gives me the unique opportunity to serve in different locations, different conflict theatres and throws up different challenges. Moreover, it also gives the opportunity to meet new people and experience different cultures and diversity," says Ms. Yadav.

After her three-year long stint in Kashmir, Kanchan now heads a CRPF company in G. Madugula in Visakhapatnam Agency.

Message for girls

On Women’s Day, Ms. Yadav has a simple message for every girl who is worried of taking career choices that might ruffle some feathers. "Kashmir taught me to be bold. I would like to tell everyone to be bold in their choices. Be bold and follow your heart, do what you want to do."

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Printable version | Apr 16, 2021 10:42:36 PM |

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