ITBP women cadets guard India in harsh terrain

ITBP’s first women’s batch of 500 young, robust cadets has been inducted this year to guard the 3,488km border from the Karakoram Pass in Leh in Jammu and Kashmir to Jachep La in Arunachal Pradesh. 

They patrol the mountainous terrain, including the Mana Pass at 18,500ft, under the harshest of climatic conditions. This is, in fact, the first time the Indian armed forces have deployed women warriors at such heights.

"These women get no concessions; they are treated (and posted in vital heights) just like the men are, adds the commander. “They have been undergoing training in the most dangerous terrains of the Himalayas for three months,” he says. “Now they can fight in any kind of weather and terrain, anywhere in the world.”

Rani Choudhary, 23, from Uttar Pradesh says the posting is a dream come true, as she has been passionate about “the uniform” since childhood.

“It is in my blood; I come from a fauji family,” she gushes. “My father was and my two brothers are in the Army. I joined the ITBP last year, and now, I, too, am a proud fauji.”

The cadets are well-trained in archery, rock climbing, obstacle crossing (under gunfire), monkey crawling, horse-riding, judo and aerobics. And, of course, they can handle rifles, mortars, rocket-launchers and grenades with ease.

The training can break people, but these women leaders have proved that they can persevere.

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