NEW DELHI: Moments after the Supreme Court announced permanent commission and command posting for women in the Army on Monday, Lt Col Seema Singhs phone rang. Her husband, who retired as a colonel from ordnance corps and is in Mumbai, was on the other line. “We have done it,” he said. And Singh broke into a smile.
TOI met Singh, one of the petitioners in a decade-long legal battle demanding gender parity in the Army, as she walked out of court, flanked by Lt Col Sandhya Yadav, Lt Col Anjali Bisht and Lt Col Maninder Virdi. The women in uniform held hands and posed for cameras.
The officers said their husbands were the first to call and congratulate them on their victory. Bishts husband Lt Col Manish Thapliyal had, in fact, stood beside her in the courtroom when the verdict was announced.
“Its a special moment for me,” said Bisht. “Im the first woman working in Signal Corps at this rank after 23 years of service. It hasnt been an easy journey but despite all my achievements, things didnt feel complete…until today. Now men and women are on an equal footing,” added Bisht, who has represented Army in national level skiing and also served as instructor at Military College of Telecommunication, Mhow.
Singh said she found the strength to fight the case with her familys support. “At home, my brother and I were treated as equals. My father who was in the IAF ensured it. When my family has never treated me differently for being a woman, why should anybody else?” She said, “The Army wanted to leave us, but we didnt want to leave it.”
For Lt Col Sandhya Yadav, the verdict brought the same euphoria that her selection in the SSC in 1990s had. “When a handful of women started a legal battle for equal opportunity, we didnt know who else would support us. But other women kept joining us. This has made our victory sweeter,” said Yadav.
A total of 11 women had moved the Delhi high court in 2010 upon completion of their 14-year service under the Read More – Source