AMC Draws Criticism For ‘Male’ Only Job Vacancy Advt For Firefighters - Vibes Of India

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AMC Draws Criticism For ‘Male’ Only Job Vacancy Advt For Firefighters

| Updated: July 9, 2024 18:12

The Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation (AMC) has landed in a controversy with its recent recruitment advertisement for assistant station officer, assistant sub-officer, and assistant fireman positions in the Ahmedabad Fire and Emergency Services (AFES).
The advertisement, which specifies that ‘only male candidates can apply’ for the assistant fireman posts, has drawn widespread criticism. This contentious move comes shortly after a national directive from the director general of fire services, advocating for the term ‘fireman’ to be replaced with ‘firefighter’ to foster gender neutrality. Despite women serving in many uniformed roles across the country, Gujarat’s fire departments remain an all-male domain.

Deputyvhead of AMC’s recruitment department Dipak Nayak defended the advertisement, stating it aligns with current recruitment rules. “The ‘only for male’ clause is specific to the fireman posts, not the other roles,” he explained.
However, experts highlighted that the issue extends beyond Ahmedabad. Across Gujarat, no women are employed in fire services, even in cities like Surat and Surendranagar, where recruitment drives include reservation for females.
A former female applicant for the AFES shed light on the barrier women face. “Women encounter numerous obstacles, including identical physical requirements for both genders. Typically, there are separate standards, but not here. The height requirement for officer roles is 165cm, compared to 157cm for police sub-inspectors,” she said. Now training schools and corporates in fire safety, she still hopes to break into the AFES.
“Recently, Vapi Nagarpalika held a recruitment drive where four women applied, but none showed up on exam day. Only sustained efforts can help us claim our rightful space,” she added.
Rajesh Bhatt, former chief fire officer of AFES, pointed out that states like Delhi, Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu have active female firefighters, some in senior roles. “In ONGC and airport services, there are special women wings for firefighting and safety,” he asserted. Local fire training schools also report a lack of female candidates.
Dhaval Jani, vice-principal of a fire safety school in Sanand, mentioned that not a single woman has enrolled since their inception in 2002.

Chandresh Choksi from the College of Fire Technology in Ahmedabad noted a few inquiries but no enrolments. “The reasons range from societal attitudes to misconceptions. It’s a classic chicken or egg scenario – active recruitment might encourage more women to apply,” he said.

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