There was a time when security forces in India were dominated by men, and women hardly had any role to play. But things are changing with women like Usha Kiran taking up the task of dealing with the tough.
She is the youngest female CRPF officer to be a part of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (COBRA) and is currently serving the naxal region of Bastar in Chhattisgarh.
The 27-year-old officer belongs to a family of ex-personnel in Gurugram. She is also a former national athlete, who represented Delhi in the Triple Jump.
She joined 232 Mahila Battalion of CRPF during her one year training course. It was during her training when she requested her seniors to allow her to serve in an extreme left-wing infested state, or J&K, or Northeast.
Earlier this year, she went on to become the first woman CRPF officer to be part of COBRA, a specialised unit of the CRPF that is proficient in guerrilla tactics and jungle warfare.
She serves the difficult terrain of the forested areas during her off duty hours by helping school-going girls with their studies in her camp.
At the Vogue Women Of The Year 2018, she was awarded with the ‘Young Achiever Of The Year’ award for her exemplary work.
On receiving the award, she said:
"This award I would like to say this is not just to Usha Kiran, it’s for every soldier, every force personal who are literally putting in their blood and sweat to maintain peace and harmony in the country."
"If you have the power, then it becomes your obligation to encourage other women to be part of the forces. If you want to encourage and empower women, you just have to get out of their way. They will do the rest."
Apart from fulfilling her duties as an officer, she also works towards bridging the gap between the security forces and the tribals.
Talking to TOI, she said:
"Women here are skeptical to talk to forces, without their guardians or male family members. Even children refuse to take chocolates. They are reluctant to meet outsiders and people in uniforms."