“This is the first time ever a lady officer is leading a contingent. Earlier, never a lady officer led a jawan’s contingent,” Lt Bhavana Kasturi told The Pioneer, after being selected as the first woman officer to be leading an army contingent in the 71st Army Day parade, that is scheduled to be held on 15 January, 2019.
Kasturi, who joined the officers training academy in October 2015 after clearing the NCC 38 special entry with AIR-4, will be leading the Indian Army Services Corps (ASC) Contingent which handles the logistic support function of the army and comprises of 144 jawans.
Interestingly, the ASC will be performing at the Army Day Parade, after a break of 23 years!
Army contingents have mostly been led by male officers. Speaking about the changing nature in the ideals of the army, she told the newspaper:
“This shows the kind of acceptance, the change and the evolution which is happening in the entire organisation. This shows acceptance for woman officers also.”
Adding that the contingent’s centre is based in Bengaluru and that she hails from the regimental center, Kasturi shared that the officers in the ASC and her have been preparing for the Parade for the past six months.
Setting an example for women officers in the country, Kasturi also shared her thoughts on the much debated topic – permanent commission for women officers in the army –with the newspaper as well.
“The higher authority in the army is working hard for it and they are also recognising the efforts being put by the lady officers.”Bhavana Kasturi to The Pioneer
The Centre has told the Supreme Court last year that the armed forces were planning to finalise a plan to grant permanent commission to women in a range of areas by creating a special cadre for their induction.