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BSF’s first combat female officer takes pride in leading contingent at Srinagar’s I-Day Parade

BSF’s first combat female officer
Assistant Commandant Tanu Shree Pareek leading the parade
Sumedha Chaudhury

Bikaner, Aug 20

Assistant Commandant Tanu Shree Pareek, India’s first combat female officer with Border Security Force (BSF) who joined this Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) around four years ago led her contingent at Independence Day Parade in Sher-e-Kashmir cricket stadium, Srinagar on this August 15.

BSF’s first combat female officer

Surprisingly, her troop bagged the ‘First Position Award’ here among all and they were blessed with a surprise gift. In a recent exclusive chat with Asian News Service correspondent Sumedha Chaudhury, she shared her joy of leading the contingent and experiences of serving the organisation which believes in duty unto death. Excerpts:


How was the feeling of leading the troop at recent held Srinagar I-Day parade?
We had a week practice before the parade after I came to know of leading the BSF contingent in Srinagar. We clinched the first position among all the participating teams. After Red Fort, the flag hoisting or parade ceremony happening at Sher-e-Kashmir stadium was the most important flag hoisting in entire India. It was not only symbolic but this was the first time when Jammu&Kashmir had become a central territory where our tricolour was being hosted. The importance of particular place, region and forces got increased. This was the last time when Governor had the hold because from now onwards Lieutenant Governor will be there. Interestingly, I was the parade commander of my passing out parade in 2016 wherein Home Minister Rajnath Singh was the chief guest.

How has life been as a Female Officer in BSF where you are one of a kind among male colleagues?
I am so blessed that I belong from an organisation which stands against the gender discrimination and which is the basic example of gender equality. At every step, let it be officers, sub-inspectors and constables, BSF has the same recruitment rule, promotional avenues and even the date of retirement is same for male and female. In all the CAPFs including CRPF women are deployed in front areas. This is the thing which I always take pride of. On the other hand, when you take the example of any military force, it has no match because women are serving as support elements which are not into the core part of a defence organization. Moral of the story says I belong to a forward looking organisation for which I stand upright.

What made you choose a uniform job?
I belong to Bikaner where the BSF campus is near to my home. I have grown up seeing it. Apart from this reason, during my engineering college days when I was in NCC, uniform spell a magic on me. I found more courage and had more confidence wearing the uniform. That was the time I decided to continue my life in this sector. I have completed till C certificate with Alfa grading in NCC.

As you are mostly stationed in border areas, is hygiene really an issue for you?
Hygiene most of the time, we despite living in a civilized society forget that having a washroom is a basic amenity not only for women but also for men. Because the culture we have at the back of mind is men can go anywhere to attend nature’s call. This basic need of a toilet has to be provided to every human being. We live in a wrong notion that hygiene and sanitation is meant only for women.

Which places have you been stationed till date?
I was at two posts of Punjab and now in Kashmir.

Tell us how your family inspired
I have a strong impact of my grandfather in my life. He had always been a constant support morally because people in Rajasthan and Marwari community which I belong to, believes women should be in ghunghat (veil). Education is not given importance because you have to give a lot of dowry. I have grown up seeing that but I am blessed to be born in a family in which I experienced nothing. My grandfather discussed from parliamentary reservation to everything but never of marriage. If that sort of upbringing is given to every child, there will be no discrimination in the society.

How do you spend your leisure time?
I was into state level under 17 badminton player’s list and qualified for national camp. So, I play badminton in free time. Also, I am brand ambassador of Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao campaign so I interact with hundreds of government school girls across Rajasthan if I am not at work. I love travelling though my job allows a lot of travelling but that is on task. Off duty, planning is not in my dictionary. I move out to tourist spots mostly as solo traveller or sometime with friends. Last April, I was in Sikkim and you won’t believe I booked my flight tickets at the eleventh hour. I write diary that works as feedback mechanism. Writing is good mood booster.

Any other achievement which you recall everyday
Last year I got myself empanelled as platoon weapon instructor (Alfa Grading).

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