Sikkim five get first I-Day role

Phumsang Bhutia, Sonira Subba and Kavita Sharma
Phumsang Bhutia, Sonira Subba and Kavita Sharma
Gangtok: Five young women from Sikkim were among the tens of thousands of security personnel deployed in Delhi during Wednesday's Independence Day celebrations, but what was unique about them and 31 other members of the Delhi Police's Special Weapons And Tactics unit was it was their first assignment after being inducted in the country's first-ever all-women special force on August 10.
All the 36 members of the elite commando unit are from the north-east. The five from Sikkim are Phumsang Bhutia of Tumin Kageythang, Sonira Subba of Marchak-Ranipul, Devika Chhetri of Pakyong-Namcheybong, Hemlata Sharma of Rakdong Tintek and Kavita Sharma of Parakha-Daragaon.

The Delhi Police have raised the commandos for anti-terrorism duty under the special cell unit of the force. The 36 women SWAT commandos were inducted after undergoing a rigorous 15-month training programme that included weapons handling, counter-terrorism and Krav Maga, which is the military self-defense technique pioneered by Israel's security forces.

Talking to The Telegraph over phone from Delhi, Phumsang said she willingly chose to the join the force. "All five of us had joined the Delhi Police as constables in April 2016. Within two months of our joining, we opted to join the all-women SWAT unit that the Delhi Police was planning to raise," she said.
And, after more than a year of intensive training under the tutelage of National Security Guard (NSG) trainers that included scaling buildings, defusing bombs and rescue hostages, these women have broken the traditional male stronghold to enter the SWAT team, thus becoming India's first such all-female team.
"I can't describe to you how hard the training was," said Phumsang, who is a graduate of Sikkim University. "I applied to join the Delhi Police on a lark after failing to make it to the Sikkim Police after a couple of tries," she said rather candidly. Maybe, Sikkim's loss is Delhi's gain!
Both she and her friend Sonira were not much into physical activities before joining the Delhi Police, but despite that they managed to successfully undergo the harsh commando training. "I was not much into sports or any other physical activity. I had only played volleyball while in school," said Phumsang.
Sonira, on the hand, said she was not into any sports at all. Asked how she could take the rigorous physical training, she said: "I guess when there are times when one has to do certain things, you just go ahead and do it. I found the martial arts part of the training very difficult, but managed to pull through."
What is also unique about the women commandos unit is their all-blue designer uniform. A creation of fashion designer Ashish N Soni, the uniform was designed with the twin objectives of making the wearers feel good and make them standout in crisis situations.
The material of the uniform is polyviscose and is different from the traditional polyester. Unlike the material of khaki uniform, the polyviscose uniform is considered to be easy to wear and does not stick to the body. The material is also conducive for both winter and summer.

The Telegraph

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Five young women from Sikkim were among the tens of thousands of security personnel deployed in Delhi during Wednesday's Independence Day celebrations, but what was unique about them and 31 other members of the Delhi Police's Special Weapons And Tactics

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