The famed Border Security Force (BSF) will field an all-women contingent to ride camels for the first time along with their male counterparts in the upcoming Republic Day parade 2023.
The uniform of Mahila Prahari is designed by renowned designer Mr. Raghavendra Rathore. The uniforms represent several treasured craft forms of India and are assembled in-house at the Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur studio.
Sartorial and cultural elements from the history of Rajasthan have been incorporated in the design of the uniform of women Praharis for the BSF Camel Contingent brand.
The privilege and honor of wearing the national forces uniform along with functionality is reflected while designing the attire for BSF women, which resonates with the iconic RRJ Jodhpuri Bandhgala that is the epitome of stately, classic and elegance.
The textured fabric with hand crafted Zardozi work for various trims from Banaras is made in the 400 year old Danka technique. The uniform is styled with an attractive pagh – a turban, inspired by the heritage pagh of the Mewar region of Rajasthan.
The Pagh is an essential element of the cultural attire of the people of Rajasthan, and in Mewar what is worn and tied is a symbol of one’s prestige and honour.
The famous camel contingent of the Border Security Force (BSF) has been a part of the Republic Day celebrations since 1976, replacing a uniform contingent of the Army, which has been participating in the annual parade since it was first held in 1950.
“The uniform of ‘Mahila Prahari’ (Female Guard) represents India’s many treasured craft forms, in fashion in different parts of the country, and has been assembled in-house at the Raghavendra Rathore Jodhpur studio.
BSF Director General Pankaj Kumar Singh told reporters last month that “half of the personnel who will be part of the camel contingent in the next Republic Day parade will be women”.
BSF is the only force in the country that uses camels for both operational and ceremonial purposes. The animals are used by BSF personnel for patrolling along the Thar Desert running along the India-Pakistan international border in Rajasthan.
The troop usually consists of 90 camels – 54 with the soldiers and the rest with the band personnel.
As per tradition, the leading camel contingent on Republic Day features smartly dressed armed BSF border guards with big moustaches, and the other with bandmen in beautiful multi-coloured costumes, riding camels and playing martial music.
The contingent is also part of the Beating the Retreat ceremony, held three days after Republic Day on January 29, as it guards the ramparts of North and South Block atop Raisina Hill. The 2.65 lakh strong BSF is primarily tasked with guarding India’s international borders with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
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