United Nations has been deploying peacekeeping forces across the world in areas which are troubled or violence-torn for protecting the innocent and common people. Over the years India has been the biggest troop contributor to these UN missions. And it is not just Indian men who are going in the corners of the world to make it a safer and a peaceful place but Indian women too are not far behind.
The first ‘all-women contingent’ on a peacekeeping mission, was deployed in the year 2007 by the UN in the African country of Liberia, an Ebola pandemic and civil war-torn nation. This UN mission named ‘UN Mission in Liberia’ (UNMIL) had the Indian women personnel of CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) as one of its important formations. They have been responsible for fighting the non-government militias and armed rebels alongside and equally with men soldiers. Out of the 15 CRPF contingents deployed in Liberia by India under the UN, 9 contingents are ‘all-women’.
In Liberia these women soldiers have handled some of the most critical security assignments like jail and prison security, riot-control, patrol, robbery prevention and importantly managing the security of the President of Liberia.
It was just early last month that the Indian peacekeepers in Liberia, including a women contingent, were honoured with medals for their courage and service in maintenance of peace and security.
And later Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, herself a woman, bid adieu to these brave Indian women soldiers. The women of Liberia are said to have been impressed by these Indian women soldiers and they have inspired them to participate in the cause of country’s security. A few years back women contributed to only 1% of the security forces of Liberia. But today this figure has reached 17%, said the Liberian President. Praising the Indian women troops said that these Indian women soldiers have displayed qualities like discipline, commitment, sense of responsibilities and professionalism to in a very unswerving and forthright manner. The President also commended the Indian women troops for working till very late hours of night while carrying out their responsibilities.
But now able-policing has made Liberia capable of taking the responsibility of its own security. Hence the CRPF has decided to summon back the women peacekeepers back to India. It would be a warm homecoming for them after 9-long years of sincere and exemplary service. Senior officials connected with this matter have informed that the return journey of these Indian women soldiers will start over this weekend from 14th of February and that they will reach India in the coming week. Apart from these there are multiple number of fronts where Indian women are leading and managing some of the most difficult and dangerous responsibilities. All the three wings Indian Armed Forces viz., the Army, the Navy and the Indian Air Force have already allowed or are very near to allow Indian women in ‘combat roles’ which is a major change and a milestone. Recently the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) deployed an all-women soldier battalion on the ‘McMohan Line’ or the Indo-China border, one the highest, coldest and hardest battlefield of the world.
All of this amply proves that determination, passion and love knows no gender, age or circumstances and can surmount any difficulties and problems. We praise these brave Indian women who have displayed utmost patriotism, courage and sacrifice for motherland India.
|| Hari Om || || Shriram || || Ambadnya ||