New Delhi: For the first time, transgender people who were recently recruited as constables in the ‘Bastar Fighters’ — a newly raised specialised unit of the Chhattisgarh police — will take part in the Republic Day parade in Jagdalpur city on Thursday (January 26) in presence of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. The CM will unfurl the tricolour and receive a guard of honour from various contingents of security personnel at a function to be held in the Lalbag Maidan in Jagdalpur, the headquarters of Bastar district which is located around 300 km from the state capital Raipur.
“A platoon of the ‘Bastar Fighters’ will participate in the Republic Day parade in Jagdalpur. Eight (of the nine) transgender constables recruited in this unit will also be part of the parade,” Inspector General of Police (Bastar range) Sundarraj P told PTI on Wednesday. “It is for the first time that cops from the third gender will participate in a parade in a national-level celebration,” he added. Nine transgender people were among 2,100 constables who were selected for the ‘Bastar Fighters’ in August last year.
The unit will be deployed in the Maoist-hit Bastar division after their training, which is currently underway. “Since transgender persons were inducted for the first time in the police force in the Bastar Range, we are confident that it would add a new dimension and perspective to policing in the region. Their participation in the parade will boost their morale,” said the IPS officer. For Divya Nishad, a 24-year-old transgender cop, taking part in the R-day parade is like a dream coming true.
Nishad said it will be a proud moment for her when she, donning the khaki uniform, will march to the tune of drums along with her male and female counterparts on Thursday. “Our selection in the police has not only boosted the confidence of the entire community whom we represent but also changed the perception of society towards transgender persons. It will be a proud moment for all of us to take part in the R-Day parade,” she said.
Nishad, who hails from the Kanker district, expressed her gratitude to the state government and senior officials for giving them an opportunity to be part of the parade. Governor Anusuiya Uikey will hoist the national flag in the morning at the Police Parade ground in Raipur. Meanwhile, security has been stepped up in all sensitive places across Chhattisgarh, particularly in Maoist-affected areas, for Republic Day celebrations, police said.
(With inputs from PTI)