New Delhi: In an effort to empower women and initiate gender equality, Indian Coast Guard has become the first security force to deploy women on the frontline in combat roles.

Four women have been deployed in the combat role and are posted at the coastal areas bordering Pakistan and Bangladesh, including Jakhau in Gujarat and Haldia in Bengal. 

“These officers have been posted on board the Air Cushion Vehicles, popularly known as hovercrafts, in the Coast Guard and have been trained to handle all types of situations including interception of suspicious activity boats like the MV Kuber, in which terrorists carried out the 26/11 terror attacks,” Coast Guard officers informed a leading news portal.

Many countries deploy women in various roles in the armed forces but only Australia, Germany, Israel and United States have given them fighting and combating roles. Now India has joined the league.

The objective of training these women is to make them capable and efficient in handling all missions under the Coast Guard charter including boarding suspicious vessels, chasing such boats in the high seas or catching contraband smugglers in water.

The training of these women was started by the Indian Coast Guard about a year ago at its base at Mandapam. The four female officers- assistant commandants are Anuradha Shukla, Sneha Kathyat, Shirin Chandran and Vasundhara Chouksey.

When defence minister Manohar Parrikar was informed about the induction of female officers in operational roles, he urged the force to look for more avenues to strengthen women officers.