New Delhi: In a big step towards empowering women, ITBP has appointed women officers to ferry ammunition and supplies to jawans deployed at high altitude posts along the China border.
At a time when most of the forces are debating whether to give permanent commission to women or not, ITBP has worked towards women’s empowerment by inducting lady officers as assistant commandants in an elite wing. They have been entrusted with the task of ensuring the viability of Axis of Maintenance (AOM) at Border out-posts (BOPs), ranging from 9000 feet to 19000 feet, using ponies, mules and yaks in addition to training and deploying ‘crack K9 dogs’ for sensitive duties.
The AT (Animal Transport) Detts commanded by the ITBP lady VOs supply ammunition, bombs, military/field stores, food, clothing, etc, to the jawans. In some BOPs, even drinking water is carried over by ponies from the nearest water point, and in freezing winters these AT ponies, under the command of lady assistant commandants, carry blocks of ice that is melted to quench the thirst of ITBP jawans.
ITBP has given commission to many women veterinary assistant commandants, who are posted in sensitive border locations. It is worth noting that since ITBP is deployed 50-150km ahead of the Army, these lady ITBP vet officers are serving in tougher conditions than the male officers of the RVC of Indian Army.
DG ITBP has given a policy direction to induct more women as Assistant Commandant(Vets) in view of the guts and glory exhibited by the ladies in ITBP.
One of the lady assistant commandants said, “The ITBP lady officers have a sense of humour. Probably, this is what keeps them going in these remote oxygen deficient areas, with a smile on their lips. ITBP lady assistant commandants (Vets) have gone where no woman has gone before.”