Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Monday said that the government will provide enhanced infrastructure and logistical facilities at border posts where women personnel have been deployed, under the command of various frontier guarding forces.
Singh, after taking salute at the 53rd Raising Day event of paramilitary Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) at its camp here, said it was essential to have “gender-friendly” facilities at these far flung areas for women as the present support system is deficient.
“There should be gender-friendly infrastructure at border posts where women are deployed….I believe there is a deficiency in this regard. This needs to be improved. I believe those border posts where women personnel are deployed, more facilities should be provided there,” he said.
Apart from SSB, Border Security Force (deployed along Pakistan and Bangladesh borders) and Indo-Tibetan Border Police (along Sino-India frontier) has deployed its women personnel as part of their border guarding charter.
While the forces have upgraded or created new infrastructure facilities at the border posts after women combatants were posted at these locations for the first time few years back, reports from the field units of these forces have desired that much more needs to be done in this regard.
Singh said that his ministry will give a serious thought to a pending proposal of SSB to have its own dedictated intelligence wing to aid its ground troops mandated to secure Indian borders with Nepal and Bhutan.
“Despite not having a dedicated intelligence wing, you have been quite successful in your operations along the two borders you guard,” Singh said.
He said it was surely “not an easy” task to secure the two borders as they are not fenced and are fully open which leads to heavy movement across the frontiers.
The home minister lauded the force for detecting and apprehending narcotics, arms, ammunition and other banned susbtances estimated at Rs.274 crore when they were being illegally transacted across the two borders this year.
Calling SSB a “multi-dimensional” force, Singh welcomed the forces’ proposal to get erected at least ten FM radio towers in the border areas along Nepal.
During the event, SSB Director General Archana Ramasundaram said the force was facing vacancies in the officer cadres and has taken some of them on deputation from other sister forces.
The force, raised in 1963, has 67 operational battalions (about 67,000 personnel) at present and secures the 1,751-km Indo-Nepal border and the 699-km long Indo-Bhutan border apart from being deployed to render a variety of internal security duties in the hinterland.