She is Woman, the mother who gives birth to a new life, a daughter who stands strong to support her parents, a wife who guides her family to a healthier and successful life, and most importantly, she is a Fighter who fights each day to protect her country, her loved ones! This 26 January, history was written, a history that was marked not just by the presence of American President Barack Obama, but a history that was carved in Golden letters by the Women in the Defense Forces of India.
The 66th Republic Day Celebration and Women Empowerment
It was a true demonstration of the Women Empowerment when Pooja Thakur became the first lady officer to lead the Inter-Service Guard of Honor for US President Barack Obama at Rashtrapati Bhavan. The Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander, Pooja Thakur became the first woman to lead the Guard of Honor for a dignitary.
And this was just a start of “Nari Shakti” shining through at the 66th Republic Parade. Although, it was not the first time that women officers have participated at a Republic Day parades, this year it was different. For the 1st time in the Indian History, the women empowerment (Nari Shakti) was displayed in style by an all-women contingent from all the three forces – Army, Air Force and Navy – who marched down the royal Rajpath.
The Army contingent was led by Capt. Divya Ajith, the Navy was led by Lt. Commander Sandhya Chauhan and the Air Force contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat while the contingents had 148 personnel each drawn from the respective Army, Navy and Air Force wings.
There are no doubts that the best example of Women Empowerment in India can be demonstrated by the Indian Armed Forces where you are an Indian first belonging to no caste, religion or gender. Here, the Indian women are walking together with the Indian Men to protect the nation even at the cost of their own lives.
Here’s a quote from Captain Divya Ajith before the event,
“We believe we are equal and second to none. We have already marched for the first time on the Army Day and now another first would be the Republic Day parade. So, yes, we do wish to be in the combat force.”
Capt. Divya Ajith, who is with the Corps of Army Air Defense, also created history recently for receiving the Sword of Honour, which is awarded to the best cadet of a course, and hence became the first woman in the Army to do so.
A Message to the Nation!
Slowly and steadily, Indian women are gaining accolades and appreciation in different sectors in India as well as globally. The all-women contingent from all the three forces at the 66th Republic Day parade was a clear sign of women gaining equality at a larger scale on the basis of their skills and achievements.
With the support and vision of Mr. Narendra Modi as well as the “Nari Shakti” theme at the 66th Republic Day parade, there’s a clear message to everyone to open the doors of education and opportunities for everyone irrespective of their gender and empower the Indian women equally as men to contribute for the defense and development of India.
As thousands marched the path, we pray millions more to follow them! Jai Hind!