New Delhi: The service of Indian women in Army dates back to the time when Britishers ruled India. Under the ordinance of “Indian Military Nursing Service”, Indian women served the military.
During the period of 1914–45, Army nurses of British India fought in World War I (1914–18) and World War II (1939-45). Nearly a number of 350 female warrior either died or missed in the action. Some fighters were even became prisoner of war.
Woman got their legal right to be considered for permanent commissions in 2019 before that they were only recruited for Short Service Commission.
However, this implies that India took a lot of time to accept women in Armed Forces on combat roles. They were majorly assigned to the medical or supporting roles before then.
Indian Air Force
Mohana Jitarwal, Avani Chaturvedi and Bhawana Kanth– the trio was inducted into the fighter squadron of IAF after the central government decided to open fighter stream in the force for women. However, the initiative took place as on an experimental basis.
The three ladies were the first ones to be a part of the squadron to conduct a solo flight in MIG-21 in 2018.
The desire of the three to serve the country brought them ‘Nari Shakti Puraskar’ by Former President Ram Nath Kovind.
India’s first-ever woman pilot is Shubhangi Swaroop who was inducted into the Indian Navy in 2017. Swaroop is one of the three women pilots for Maritime Reconnaissance (MR) missions on Dornier aircraft from the first batch of Indian Navy.
But long before Shubhangi, Inidan Navy had Dr. Barbara Ghosh as first woman officer to achieve a rank of commander. Ghosh was also the first lady medical officer who received permanent naval commission.
Paramilitary forces of India
There is no field where woman has no role not even the Paramilitary forces. In the history of India, Indian Coast Guard was the first force to deploy woman officers in combat roles.
Assistant commandants Anuradha Shukla, Sneha Kathayat, Shirin Chandran and Vasundhara Chouksey were the four women officers to be deployed on board KV Kuber hovercraft ship. They were assigned to patrol the Indian maritime zone that is bordered with Bangladesh and Pakistan.