Republic Day 2023: Rajasthan Women Riders Debut On BSF Camel Contingent

| Updated: January 26, 2023 1:23 pm

During the 74th Republic Day parade on Thursday, India witnessed women riders in the camel contingent of the Rajasthan Frontier of the Border Security Force for the first time.

12 women from Gujarat, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Madhya Pradesh were selected for the parade out of the 24 women who received camel riding training. They earlier participated in the BSF Raising Day Parade in Amritsar.

Sonal, Nisha, Bhagwati, Ambika, Kusum, Priyanka, Kaushalya, Kajal, Bhawna, and Hina were members of the “Mahila praharis” squad that marched via Kartavya Path from Vijay Chowk to the Red Fort during the parade. 16 marching contingents from the armed forces, the Central Paramilitary Forces, the Delhi Police, the National Cadet Corps, the NSS, and 19 military pipe and drum bands participated in this year’s parade.

The woman riders wore distinctive ceremonial attire that represented Indian artisan traditions. It included the recognisable Jodhpuri bandhgala, the traditional long tunic, which was created by Raghavendra Rathore. “The textured fabric with hand-crafted zardosi work for various trims from Benaras is completed in the 400 years-old Danka technique,” said BSF, adding that the uniform is styled with the “Pagh – a turban inspired by the heritage Pagh of the Mewar region of Rajasthan.”

Since 1976, the BSF camel contingent, which typically consists of 90 camels—54 with soldiers and the remaining with band members—has marched in the Republic Day parade. The contingent will participate in the first-ever 3-D anamorphic projections as part of the traditional Beating the Retreat event on January 29.

The BSF is the only force in the nation to use camels for both practical and ceremonial purposes. The BSF, with nearly 8,000 women, also has a daredevil motorbike team made up entirely of women called the Seema Bhawaniis.  Abdel Fattah El-Sisi was the first Egyptian President to be invited as the principal guest for the 74th Republic Day celebrations, among many other firsts.

Additionally, he is the first chief guest since Covid-19 in 2020. For the first time since Kartavya Path was renamed Rajpath last year, tanks, weapons, and soldiers could be seen there. Another first was that all formal invitations were distributed online.

Before 2023, the 21-gun salute to the Indian President was delivered with British weapons. The old 25-powder cannon has been replaced by locally built 105 mm field guns as part of the “Make in India” initiative. 

Also Read: Rajasthan Governor Unfurls National Flag At R-Day Celebrations

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