Deployment of women constables cheers farmers in Punjab's border villages

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Rorawala (India-Pakistan Border), Sep.11 (ANI): As women constables of the Border Security Force (BSF) were deployed at the India-Pakistan International Border on Friday, a wave of cheer overwhelmed the villagers here.

Male farmers expressed their delight over the development, saying the presence of women security personnel would encourage their womenfolk to join them in the fields near the border.

The fencing of the 553-kilometer-long border since the 1990s; has created a feeling of reluctance among rural women to cross the border gates to work in fields or to deliver meals.

Most of them were hesitant in undergoing a frisking of their bodies, a security provision to check against the smuggling of unwanted material from across the border.

In such conditions, farmers were compelled to hire outside help on daily wages.

Hailing the step, farmers in the border area said their financial burden would be reduced with their women stepping in to assist them.

They also said that the deployment of women constables would enable them to access cheap labour.

Raj, a woman labourer, said: "I am very happy since it was difficult to get work in the village. We can now go to the fields beyond the fencing and earn much for our families."

Balwinder Kaur of Rorawala village said that her family owned about ten acres of land beyond the fencing and some times it was difficult to cultivate it due to the shortage of labourers.

Now, with the presence of female security personnel, she said that she and other females of the family were ready to help in the cultivation process beyond the fenced wiring.

Joginder Singh, a farmer, said that he was now looking forward to the fresh meals brought to him by the womenfolk of his family.

Mohammad Aquil, DIG (Border Range) BSF, said the deployment of the lady BSF constables would be done in the state of Punjab within two months.

A senior BSF official said about 178 girls would be posted at the international border dividing India and Pakistan. At a later stage, 60 of these women constables would be deployed along the India-Bangladesh border

These women are aged between 19-25 and are fully trained in the use of weapons, patrolling and other combat tasks, they will be assigned non-combat duties along the fenced border.

Gurbir Kaur, a woman constable, said that the (soldiers)' uniform always fascinated her. She said that being in uniform was a dream come true.

Raman Preet Kaur, another lady constable, said that apart from frisking, she was also trained to handle a security-related crisis at the border.

These women passed out of the BSF academy in Kharkan near the town of Hoshiarpur on July 25 this year. By Ravinder Singh Robin (ANI)

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