97 Young Women Set To Join Mumbai's Fire-Fighting Unit

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Nearly 100 women are being inducted in Mumbai Fire Brigade


Mumbai:  In a big move by Mumbai Fire Brigade, 97 young women will now be a part of the city's fire fighting unit and NDTV spoke to some of them as they complete their last few days of training before joining the force.

Rigorous training of six months is being given these selected women who will now take up the job in which primarily men were recruited. Once they'll clear the final test, they will take the strength of women to nearly 115 in the 2,000-odd strong Mumbai Fire Brigade.

"I don't see any reason for discrimination between a man and a woman as far as the fire brigade is concerned because they are firefighters for me. They have undergone equal stress during the recruitment drive and they have done the same tasks done by firemen," said PS  Rahangdale, Chief Fire Officer of Mumbai Fire Brigade.  

In 2012, the Fire Brigade had recruited women for the first time. But the numbers were small and the attempt wasn't very successful. But this time the fire brigade says the results are very different.

The women candidates, according to the official, have been taught how to battle fires in extreme conditions. To test their skills, artificial fires were set up at the Regional Command Centre.

22-year-old Kavita Gurule, a trainee firefighter from Nashik wanted to join the army but her family had reservations but they agreed to her joining the fire brigade. "I told them that fire brigade is like a paramilitary force and they agreed and now they know that I am capable. Now, they say I could have joined the army too."

For Deepali Bhojane, 21, the trigger was her grandfather, who was a firefighter too. "My grandfather expired in 2008. Everyone in my family knew the value of a firefighter. My father had hoped I would become a firefighter," she told NDTV.

In little less than a month these women will be ready for induction into the Mumbai Fire Brigade and for these women it's been a journey of transformation. The experience has given them immense courage and confidence and a sense of empowerment.


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