Andhra Pradesh

Helping young girls to break the glass ceiling in A.P.

Girls undergo rigorous training programmes in Srikakulam to achieve their goal to join military services.  

With the Army launching a recruitment drive for women, many girls from rural areas are striving hard to become a part of women Military Police wing. In spite of many objections from parents and others, they are determined to prove themselves in the armed forces. Over 150 girls from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana have been attending a rigorous training programme being provided by ‘Indian Army Calling’, a defence training institution established with the motto of serving rural youngsters.

A teenaged girl, R. Madhuri of Wanaparthy in Telangana, had come all the way to Srikakulam to realise her dream of joining the military services. “My parents were shocked with my decision initially. They feared that a military job was very tough, and girls would not be able to adjust in the service. But I convinced them and came here for training,” she said.

D. Supraja of Warangal studied Intermediate but could find a decent job in spite of many attempts. It made her to look at the Military Police wing, which would ensure a decent salary apart from other benefits. “The job in the Army would ensure decent life and help me to serve the country,” she said.

Indian Army Calling founder and director Basava Venkata Ramana, 26, of Srimukhalingam village of Srikakulam district, said the girls were able to complete different tough tasks, including running, conducted as part of the training. “Normally, boys have to complete 1.6 km distance within five minutes 30 seconds. There is a time relaxation for girls. But many of them are able to complete the task within five minutes. Their performance is good in pull ups, balance, ditch and others too. Getting required fitness is a must to pass the physical test. We are providing training to clear the written exams which is conducted at the next level,” he added.

Mr. Venkata Ramana, who could not get selected in the Army due to lack of prior training five years ago, caught the attention of everyone with his vision. He ensured jobs for more than 350 youngsters in the last couple of years by organising training programmes under the supervision of retired military and police officials.

No course fee

Though there is no course fee, the candidates are charged ₹3,500 for shoes, dress and other materials.

After observing the dedicated work of Mr. Venkata Ramana, many philanthropists and property owners are extending their helping hand for the smooth conduct of training programmes. Currently, the training is being conducted in a vacant land adjacent to 80 feet road. The property owners who have not yet taken up any construction work on the premises allowed the girls and others to undergo training without any trouble. “We are happy to allow training programme in our land since it is beneficial to many unemployed youth. Fortunately, other owners are also extending their wholehearted support,” aid Sadhu Mohana Rao, a property owner.

Bontala Govinda Rao, a retired army personnel, said that all the ex-servicemen were extending financial support and conducting training programmes for the youngsters. “Many youngsters who got jobs with the training programme are helping the institution to establish the required infrastructure. Their voluntary contribution is helping to buy required equipment. It helps to minimise the financial burden on the youngsters,” Mr. Govinda Rao said. “The government should hold training camps in all districts for youngsters, since they don’t know how to achieve fitness and pass the written test. The government’s initial support will help many join the Army and serve the nation,” Mr. Venkata Ramana told The Hindu.


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Printable version | Oct 24, 2021 9:16:13 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/helping-young-girls-to-break-the-glass-ceiling-in-ap/article36642798.ece

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