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More opportunities for women could be opened in the army in the future: Captain Tania Sher Gill

Sher Gill believes that irrespective of gender one has to put the best efforts in completing such tasks. “We have come a long way (since the induction of women into the army began). Things in the army happen gradually. Nothing happens overnight. I am sure in the near future things will get better and we will get more opportunities,” she asserted.

Last Updated: Jan 23, 2020, 08.08 PM IST
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Captain Tania Sher Gill
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NEW DELHI: Captain Tania Sher Gill, who became the first woman officer to lead an all male marching contingent during the Army Day parade and will be the second one to do so during the upcoming Republic Day parade on Sunday, believes that more opportunities for women could be opened in the army in the future.

Sher Gill believes that irrespective of gender one has to put the best efforts in completing such tasks. “We have come a long way (since the induction of women into the army began). Things in the army happen gradually. Nothing happens overnight. I am sure in the near future things will get better and we will get more opportunities,” she told ET.

When asked whether women could be allowed into the army’s combat arms, she said, “It all depends on the seniors in the hierarchy. Whatever opportunities will be given to us, we are up for it.”

On how she views avenues being opened for women in a male-dominated force, she said, “It is not male dominated. When you get such an opportunity (leading a male marching contingent) you feel grateful and blessed. When you get on the ground you have to give your best.”

Sher Gill sees herself as an equal to any of her male counterparts. “At the academy (Officers Training Academy) there are lady and gentlemen cadets and we are trained equally.”

Her ambition to join the army started from childhood after being inspired from watching her father don his uniform everyday. She is a fourth-generation soldier from her family. Her father was in the artillery, while her grandfather was in the armoured regiment and great grandfather in the Sikh regiment. She joined the OTA in 2016 and was commissioned as an officer in 2017.

“You feel proud when your corps gives you a contingent to command and it gives you a sense of responsibility...My family is proud,” she said.

Sher Gill’s task indicates the army being more open to giving opportunities to women. Lady officers will also be taking part in the contingents of the air force, navy and Coast Guard. A Central Reserve Police Force motorcycle display team will also take part. Last year, Captain Bhavana Kasturi became the first woman to lead an all male army marching contingent during the Republic Day parade. In 2015, a woman army officer led an all women marching contingent during the parade.
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