In a historic and long-awaited first for women in the armed forces, two women officers will be posted on an Indian Navy warship soon. Sub Lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and Sub Lieutenant Riti Singh will become the first Indian women to be deployed on an Indian Navy warship and serve on the ship’s crew. So far, women in the Indian Navy were not posted on warships for long durations owing to a lack of facilities which were needed to make warships open to true gender equality.
The officers are currently training to operate sensors onboard Navy helicopters. According to reports, the two officers will fly on the MH-60 R helicopters which are considered the most advanced helicopters of their class. These helicopters are designed to detect enemy ships and submarines.
In another development for women in the Indian armed forces, reports now suggest that a woman fighter pilot has been shortlisted to fly the newly-acquired Rafale fighter jets.
These developments have been a long time coming for women in the armed forces and one such story was highlighted recently in Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl. The facts of this story, however, have been disputed by many including the Indian Air Force.
That being said, we applaud the progress that Indian women are making in all streams of the armed forces. Since the role of women in the forces was expanded, quite reluctantly, by the authorities in question, women have grabbed these opportunities, and we couldn’t be happier about that!