AJMER: As many as 567 woman constables of the 232 Mahila Battalion of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF), trained to conduct operations in Maoist-infested areas, participated in a passing out parade ceremony held at CRPF group Centre 2 in Ajmer on Friday.
Seven woman constables were felicitated at the function for their outstanding performances during training. The deployment is expected to begin by early July.
Vaishali Lohar, 22, from a village in Satara district of Maharashtra, was adjudged the best cadet for her all-round performance. “Since childhood, I wanted to become either a teacher or get into police force. My father always wanted me to see me in police uniform. I am excited to join the force,” Vaishali added.
However, some recruits recall hardships and gender bias they had to overcome to fulfill their dreams. “Girls in my village do not step out after it gets dark. My parents thought we will run away and return in two months. Now, they are here to attend the parade,’’ said Anandi from Malda district, West Bengal. “My father wanted me to be a nurse at a government hospital. I faced stiff resistance from him before I could convince him of joining the forces,” said Sujata Kutty of Kottayam district, Kerala.
As chief guest at the ceremony, Director General of CRPF K Durga Prasad said, “It is a proud moment in the history of CRPF that women, after 44 weeks of rigorous training, are ready to take on Maoist insurgents. This is our first experiment to deploy women in combatting Maoists,if we succeed many more such battalion would be raised in future he added.
The parade was commanded by Lal Chand Yadav, the first commandant of the battalion. “My girls are all robustly trained to give befitting replies (to Maoist insurgents). It will take two more months for their acclimatisation and advanced training to cope with ground realities,” said Yadav.