In 2012, the Assam Police launched a commando unit with the aim of controlling crimes against women.
They named it Veerangana (which literally means ‘adventuress’) and decided that it will be an all-woman unit.
Initially, people mocked the idea. As Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, the Director-General of Police tells Brut:
Some police personnel was skeptical. (They’d say) ‘Look at this guy, trying to create a girls’ outfit as if girls will be able to make a difference’.
While some people didn’t see the need for a women’s unit, others just doubted their capability. However, proving everyone wrong, these women marched on.
MESMERIC!— Rajesh Kalra (@rajeshkalra) September 13, 2020
Watch this compelling display by a lady of Assam Police Veerangana, which is a full platoon of women. #CAPF friends say this video is at least 5 years old and was performed during the Police Science Cong. in Guwahati. #JAIHIND pic.twitter.com/tOpfOKevh5
Veerangana, India’s first women Commando unit from @assampolice is a shining example of #WomenEmpowerment & the massive transformation that @assampolice has been through in recent years!— বিপ্লৱ অসমীয়া (@Arnavka43163786) January 27, 2021
Assam reaching new heights of excellence under the able leadership of CM .@sarbanandsonwal https://t.co/tW9tcoGgYA
And they were so driven by the cause, that no hurdle on the way could stop them.
These women come from different backgrounds and many of them have faced difficulties in life. These include sexism, sexual harassment and poverty among others.
Assam now has India’s only Women Commando Force #VEERANGANA— Meghali Baruah (@baruah_meghali) September 7, 2020
Breaking all stereotypes, this is #WomenEmpowerment in the truest sense
Must admit that @assampolice has truly reached new heights of excellence in recent years under the able leadership of CM @sarbanandsonwal https://t.co/vb934fDZmR
Elaborating on the same, one of the trainees, Kaberi Kathar, tells Brut about the time her in-laws threatened her, saying that if she joins the unit, they will put oil on her.
They told me to come out of my room. There was a small window, I leapt out of it and left that house.
Now, while many in the world seem to be against these women, they have found immense support in each other.
The barracks are their safe space and one place where they can be themselves without any fear.
Veerangana is approximately a 50-women unit and trains the commandoes in the handling of weapons, hand-to-hand combat and maintianing control during a domestic riot.
It is also the country’s first all-woman silent drill commando unit and we couldn’t be prouder of the trainees.
You can watch Brut’s video, here: