As the Border Security Force (BSF) completes 50 years of its existence on December 1, its first – and the only woman officer – is yet to take charge at the frontiers as she awaits field training.
Tanushree Pareek has cleared the preliminary stage of the Indian civil service examination and will write the mains late in December. A resident of Bikaner, Pareek says if she clears the CS exam, she will choose IAS over the border guarding force of India.
BSF allowed women to apply for operation duty in 2013. After a four-phase recruitment process, in July 2014, Pareek became the first woman assistant commandant in the organisation.
“I have grown up in the midst of BSF men in Bikaner where our house was close to the headquarters. I was always fascinated by the duty they performed, so the first recruitment exam I took was the UPSC Central Armed Police Forces (Assistant Commandant) Exam in 2013 and opted for BSF as my first option. I got the third rank in the women’s category but the two ahead of me chose CISF and I became the first woman to join the force,” Pareek told HT over a telephone call.
Field training at the BSF Academy in Tekanpur (Gwalior-Jhansi highway, Madhya Pradesh) is yet to begin owing to a backlog. The 2012 batch of assistant commandants will complete their training in January 2016. Pareek is from the 2013 batch.
“In the last one year or so, my perspective about the uniform has changed. I feel you can work for people’s welfare if you are a civil servant. In the uniform, you perform only one kind of a role. So, I will choose IAS over BSF if I clear the CS exam,” she added.
Pareek, 24, has done B Tech in electronics and communications from Government Engineering College, Bikaner, and masters in rural development from IGNOU. Along with CS preparations, she has also enrolled herself for a PG diploma in women and gender studies.