New Delhi: Women power was on dazzling display at the celebrations for the country’s 70th Republic Day on Saturday, with women officers leading contingents of the Navy, Army Services Corps, and Corps of Signals at Delhi’s Rajpath. Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi created history by becoming the first woman to lead an all-men contingent.
The all-women Assam Rifles contingent participated for the first time in a Republic Day parade. Major Khushboo Kanwar, a 30-year-old mother, led the contingent of the Assam Rifles, the oldest paramilitary force in the country.
“Leading an all-women contingent of the Assam Rifles is a matter of great honour and pride for me. We have practiced very hard,” she was quoted as saying by a news agency.
“I am the daughter of a bus conductor from Rajasthan and if I can accomplish this, any girl can fulfil her dream,” she said after the dress rehearsals on January 23.
The daredevil acts by bike-borne jawans — a major attraction every Republic Day — also saw the presence of a woman.
Captain Shikha Surabhi, from the Corps of Signals, was seen taking part in a heart-in-the-mouth stunt standing atop the seat of a moving motorcycle and saluting the President of India. The 90-minute programme saw the participation of more than 20 tableaux of states and Central government bodies.