The number of women from armed forces participating in this year's Republic Day Parade would be the highest till date showcasing the growing role of the gender in the services.
"This year, we will have the highest ever participation from women from the services as there is an entire team of Assam Rifles which has only women in it apart from contingent commanders like Captain Bhawna Kasturi who is leading the Army Services Corps team and biker Captain Shikha Surabhi, who is a part of the Army Daredevil team," Parade Deputy Commander Major General Rajpal Poonia told ANI.
Captain Shikha Surabhi of the Army's Corps of Signal will be saluting President Ram Nath Kovind while standing on a bike.
Interestingly, Captain Surabhi took up biking only three months ago.
"First I was afraid of even leaving the handle, but they taught me the tricks of the trade and now I can do these things with ease," she said.
Surabhi will soon marry another Corps of Signals officer, who is also into biking.
The biker, who at present is on a six-month stint with the world recorder holder Daredevils motorcycle team of the Indian Army, said she would like to be with the team permanently.
Captain Bhawna Kasturi defeated 30 men and women of the Army Services Corp in the selection process for leading the impressive Army Services Corps (ASC) contingent this year.
"I am not here because of my gender but my drill as there were around 30 others who had come for the selection process for leading the contingent," Captain Kasturi said.
This would be the first time when a woman (Captain Kasturi) would be leading the ASC marching team.
Major Khushbu Kanwar is leading the contingent of Assam Rifles, which includes women whose husbands passed away in different operations.
"The women have been inducted as per a policy under which they were allowed entry on compassionate ground. They are doing counterinsurgency operations including patrolling and other guard duties," Major Kanwar said.
The lady officer, who was inducted into the Army and has been seconded to the Assam Rifles, said in the last five months they have worked very hard to prepare for the parade.
"Some of the ladies in our team are doting mothers and they have left behind their kids with families to perform here," Kanwar said.
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