The all-women contingent from Assam Rifles marching and saluting the President at Rajpath, makes history at the 70th Republic Day parade.
The 146 member contingent of the Assam Rifles unit was led by Major Khushboo Kanwar and made history by participating for the first time in a Republic Day parade.
Daughter of a bus conductor, Major Khushboo Kanwar is the 1st Contingent Commander. She is an AC officer and was commissioned into Army service 2012, and currently on deputation with Assam Rifles.
Major Khushboo said, “It is for the first time in the history of the oldest paramilitary force, Assam Rifles, that an all-woman contingent has participated. It’s a matter of pride and privilege for me to be the first contingent commander of the all-woman contingent of Assam Rifles,” adding, “I am a daughter of a bus conductor and if I can accomplish this, then any girl can fulfil her dream.”
During her school days, she studied on scholarship and later pursued her education and MBA from government colleges.
The contingent is special as some of the women in the force are vir mahilas (widows of martyr soldiers) who are continuing the legacy of their husbands.
According to a report in national media, Jawan, Gayatri Sharma said, she was recruited after her father passed away in 2001. He, too, was an Assam Rifles jawan. She was just three years old at the time of his death.
Sunita Thapa, another member of the contingent, revealed that it was her husband’s dream of serving the country and she will be able to carry it forward only by becoming a part of it. She has a five-year-old son and an extremely supportive family.
The Assam Rifles was established during 1835 and is the oldest paramilitary force of India.
They opened recruitment in 2015. In 2016, the first batch took its oath with 127 women recruits.
Currently, there are 365 women soldiers in Assam Rifles.