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Handling Reins of Camels to Bike Stunts, March-Past, All-Women Contingents to Make Republic Day Special

Last Updated: January 17, 2024, 14:28 IST

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), BSF and Delhi Police will have all-women contingents at Kartavya Path on Republic Day. (Photo: News18)

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), BSF and Delhi Police will have all-women contingents at Kartavya Path on Republic Day. (Photo: News18)

The Indian Air Force marching contingent will witness women Agniveer Vayu soldiers showcasing their skills… BSF, CRPF and SSB women personnel will perform a daredevil act atop 350 CC Royal Enfield Bullets, just before the IAF’s air show

“My unit is posted on the Indo-Pak border in Punjab. I often take down Pakistan sent drones carrying payloads of drugs and small weapons with my rifle,” gushes constable Renu of the Border Security Force (BSF) while practising for the Republic Day march.

A few kilometres away, deftly handling the reins of her camel, is BSF’s Ambika Rathore who says, “These camels take us through sand dunes on the border. When we do special patrolling, camels take us to the points where vehicles can’t reach”.

These are the stories and experiences with which the all-women contingents of India’s para military and defence forces will display their might at Kartavya Path on January 26.

(Photo: News18)

The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), Sashatra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP), BSF and Delhi Police will have all-women contingents at Kartavya Path. Their brass bands will see only women’s participation. The defence forces will have two — the Directorate General of Armed Forces Medical Services and tri-service women personnel — all-women marching contingents. The 144-member tri-service contingent will have 60 soldiers from the Indian Army and the rest from the Air Force and Navy.

The Indian Air Force marching contingent will witness women Agniveer Vayu soldiers showcasing their skills.

“Proud to wear the blues. Proud to march together. Proud to be part of the Republic Day 2024,” IAF posted on social media platform ‘X’. The Indian Navy tableaux is built on the Nari Shakti theme.

Each marching contingent will have 148 members while the bands will have 72 women playing melodies and patriotic songs. The BSF, CRPF and SSB women personnel will come together for a daredevil act atop 350 CC Royal Enfield Bullets, just before the IAF puts up the air show.

Last year, the Ministry of Defence had decided to make the 2024 Republic Day celebrations a display of Nari Shakti. BSF’s camel contingent saw women make its debut in the R-Day parade last year. “Twelve of us got the privilege last year. But this time, 21 of us will take the camel contingent,” Priyanka Rithala told News18. “Women in our part of the world (Rajasthan) handle the Ghoonghat as neatly as they handle the camel. That is the message we hope to give to the world,” she added.

The camel contingent, considered a male only domain till last year, has now seen participation from women personnel deployed in Punjab, West Bengal and Rajasthan. BSF marching contingent has women from 20 states and Union Territories while the Delhi Police will see representation of women from the northeast. SSB, which is amongst the first CAPF to induct women in border guarding roles, will be led by a lady officer from its first batch.

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