J A L A N D H A R    E D I T I O N

Understand family needs of women constables: BSF
Kusum Arora
Tribune News Service

Jalandhar, March 3
Aimed at improving the work environment between women constables and their men counterparts, the Border Security Force (BSF), Punjab Frontier, held a 'sensitization drive' at its headquarters in Jalandhar recently.

The closed-door meeting was held on March 1, keeping in mind certain family issues of women constables, which have started cropping up with the passage of time. The meeting, which went on for around three hours, was chaired by BSF DIG JP Uniyal.

A total of 20 women constables from different battalions and a host of company commanders, platoon commanders and commandants attended the meeting, which was focused on the need to bring a change in the age-old perceptions of 'rigid attitude' of the BSF.

The BSF authorities sensitised both women and the male counterparts on the need to introduce slight behavioural changes pertaining to the unavoidable maternity requirements of women constables.


Talking to The Tribune, DIG Uniyal said: "We reached a consensus that as and when a requirement arises, the male counterparts should take a compassionate view of the problems of women. There is no harm in adjusting a woman constable to some other job when she is in the family way or if she has small children."

BSF Inspector General (IG) Aditya Mishra said: "A majority of women constables got married. Many of them are either in the family way or have applied for maternity leave. In such cases, there is a need for certain changes to smoothen the 24X7 vigilant duty on the border."

Mishra added that it's time to understand that the age-old perceptions of a strict work culture needs to be softened when it comes to 'gynaecological issues'. "When a woman is pregnant, she is bound with certain physical limitations and the male counterpart needs to adjust to it. Even they, too, have seen their wives undergoing the same stages in life," he said.

"After all, a woman constable in an advance stage of her pregnancy cannot be forced and asked to perform a harsh duty of manning the active border. The women constables have been working at par with their male counterparts but then it is time that we sit and talk about these issues and help maintain an excellent work culture," he added.

At present, more than 700 women constables have been deployed in different battalions along the 553 km Indo-Pak border. The women constables were first recruited in 2009.

The BSF authorities also said that earlier it was an all and all men bastion where one would often spot the BSF personnel performing duties under any circumstances. "Those were the times when it was a common practice to see men behave 'manly' and would even go up to the extent of shouting, abusing and speaking loud for making the jawans perform duty at any cost. But, one cannot apply same rules for women constables, when they seek leave or request for a change in duty owing to family way issues," DIG Uniyal added.



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