Kolkata: The Border Security Force has for the first time deployed “Mahila Praharis” women guards in the Sundarbans delta in south Bengal. The Sundarbans is a vast area covering over 10,000 square kilometres. Around 60 per cent of the fissured delta comprising mud islands, fertile-for-paddy islands, and mangrove forests belongs to Bangladesh and 40 per cent to India.
Although each part of the Sundarbans, which is famous for its Indian tigers and rare birds, is accessible by boat as the region is crisscrossed by a complex network of tidal waterways, the terrain is vast and made up of mudflats, and small mangrove islands. This makes it very difficult to guard the region and prevent illegal activities, like drugs and cattle smuggling, infiltration, etc.
As construction of land border outposts (BOPs) are not feasible in the area, the BSF maintains round-the-clock vigil through floating BOPs.
Now, Mahila Praharis have been given the full responsibility of BOP Ganga – one of the six new floating BOPs of BSF deployed recently to enhance vigilance in the area. These women soldiers will now be operating and patrolling on the BOP independently in combat role.
The BSF believes that the deployment of Mahila Praharis will be especially helpful in preventing smuggling by women smugglers.