Combating with all the odds and setting a new example of true feminism, sub-lieutenant Kumudini Tyagi and sub-lieutenant Riti Singh have now become the first-ever women in the Indian Navy to be in the deck of warships, combating.
The two, now inspirations to many, are engineering graduates in computer science and were commissioned into the navy in 2018. The officers passed the Navy's observer course at a ceremony held at INS garuda on Monday.
Earlier roles of women in naval services only included to a certain extent of fixing wing aircraft and weren't allowed onboard due to lack of privacy in crew quarters and availability of gender-specific bathroom facilities. That is set to now change with the two young officers who are training to operate a host of sensors onboard navy multi-role helicopters, including sonar consoles and Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR) payloads.
"Things are changing in the Indian Navy every day. The navy is giving everybody an opportunity every day. Yes, we're breaking barriers every day but there are a lot of opportunities coming up every day. Whatever role the Indian Navy gives us, we will gladly take them". Says sub-lieutenant Singh. She is the third generation officer from her family as her father being a former naval officer and her grandfather being in the army.
MH-60 R is the expected helicopter the two women will eventually fly on. MH-60R is designed to detect enemy ships and submarines which can be engaged using missiles and torpedoes. The acquisition of the Lockheed-Martin built choppers in a deal estimated at $2.6 billion was cleared by then-defense minister, Nirmala Sitaraman.
"We've been treated equally... Whatever training our male counterparts received, we went through the same training... It is a huge responsibility, the task is a challenge. We are looking forward to it," says sub-lieutenant Tyagi. A resident of Ghaziabad near Delhi.
Eighteen of the Women operate as weapon system operators on fighters including the Sukhoi-30MKI and are soulful navigators.