Shortly after sunrise, constables Rabinder Kaur and Anubala sling their 5.56mm INSAS rifles across their shoulders, and march towards one of the border outposts in Jammu.
Once there, the young BSF personnel, both women, quickly get into position at the morcha. According to Times of India, they are trained to handle medium machine guns (MMGs) and 51mm mortars, the two are merciless in their retaliation if firing from across the border injures locals or their colleagues.
Rabinder and Anubala are among more than 90 women personnel of the BSF posted along the 192km stretch of the international border in Jammu. “We’re the new woman power,” Rabinder, a Jammu local whose husband works in Australia, told TOI.
Most of the BSF’s women soldiers are aged between 23 and 30 years. Some stay with their families at the battalion headquarters, while others have left their children with their husbands’ families to fight at the border.
From standing for six to eight hours inside a watch tower with their heavy rifles, to seizing contraband from villagers, BSF’s women personnel walk shoulder-to-shoulder with their male counterparts in the combat zone.