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Millennium Post

Indian woman rises

It was the very first time that on India’s Republic Day that an all-women contingent from the three forces- Army, Air Force and Navy- marched down the Rajpath, showcasing women’s empowerment in the armed forces on Monday morning. Even though women  have participated in contingents before but this was the first time they lead solo contingents.

The Army contingent was led by Capt Divya Ajith, the Navy was led by Lt Commander Sandhya Chauhan, while the Air Force contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekhawat. Each of the majestic contingents had 148 personnel each drawn from the Army, Air Force and Navy.

Attending the event Vijaya Karmakar Nath along with her family, said, “It was a thrilling experience to see the all women contingents march past us. For me to see it up close and personal was simply a lovely experience.”

Tamosha Bhattacharya who also attended the function with her husband Indrajeet said, “It was a moment of pride to see all the lovely women march past us.” There were several other women officers participating as part of the other displays.

It was an absolute delight to find a lady officer accompanying a tank, while another led a contingent of male CISF personnel.

Wing Commander Pooja Thakur of the Indian Air Force on Sunday had set the ball rolling for the ‘Nari Shakti’ theme by leading the guard of honour, which was inspected by visiting US president Barack Obama at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Earlier on Monday, after Mukherjee unfurled the national flag at Rajpath in the presence of Obama and his wife Michelle, Vice President Hamid Ansari and Modi, the National Anthem was played with 21-gun salute. The Republic Day ceremony commenced at Amar Jawan Jyoti at India Gate where Modi led the nation in paying homage to the martyrs by laying a wreath.

India’s military prowess and achievements in different fields, state-of-the-art defence platforms, its diverse cultural and social traditions were put on display at the parade. Indo-Russian weaponry was on display during the function. T-90 “Bhishma” main battle tanks rolled in, followed by medium-range surface-to-air Akash missiles, medium-range high-resolution 3D surveillance central acquisition radars (CAR), and Pinaka multiple rocket launchers.

Jointly made Russia-India products on display included BrahMos - one of the world’s fastest short-range supersonic cruise missilesand the Sukhoi Su-30MKI (Flanker-H) fighter jet. As for the Navy Russian-made carrier-based Mikoyan MIG-29K multirole fighters and India’s newest warship - INS Kolkata- were also displayed.
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