Barred from combat roles, Indian women seek greater role in army

Indian security personnel standing guard on a tower before the start of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi  on Jan 26, 2020.
Indian security personnel standing guard on a tower before the start of the Republic Day parade in New Delhi on Jan 26, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

NEW DELHI - When Captain Ruchi Sharma joined the army at the age of 20, she often faced questions on her career choice as people wondered if women had a place in the Indian Army.

Yet she overcame doubts even among her superiors within the army to become India's first female operational paratrooper in 1996, four years after women were allowed into select non-combat roles on an "experimental basis".

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