The Border Security Forces (BSF) Academy in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh, has done what has never been done before. They have created the country’s first ever team of stuntswomen on bikes, calling them ‘Women Jabaanz’. The team consists of 45 women from across the country who do stunts on bikes just like their male counterparts.
“These women learn faster than men,” Mukesh Tyagi, BSF Commander and the principal of Central School of Motor Transport, told SheThePeople.TV. Tyagi is one of the key people who helped push the idea of having a women bike riders’ team in BSF.
Tyagi tells us that the men’s bike riders’ team has been in force since 1990 but the women’s team has come into place only in October 2016. “Earlier, no woman used to take part in the selection process. Now, even women constables in the BSF have started joining in. So now we have also started sports and games events for them just like we have for the armymen in BSF.”
The number of women in the force is on the rise and Tyagi revealed that BSF Director General K K Sharma takes special interest in encouraging women to move forward. It was Sharma who suggested the idea of having a group of women constables trained to ride bikes and perform stunts just like men.
“We all then agreed that it was indeed possible to train women to do stunts. Also, to see what kind of changes are brought in by training women,” said Tyagi.
“I would like to say that at the pace with which men learn the tricks of stunting on bikes, women have outdone them in it,” said BSF Commander and Principal of Central School of Motor Transport, Mukesh Tyagi
When trying to implement anything unprecedented, there needs to be an ideological change among everyone. About bringing change in the mindset of the women constables, he said that there were many fears in the minds of the women “but we talked them into trying riding bikes and after a bit of training, their interest in the activity just skyrocketed”.
Initially, women constables did not show much excitement about doing bike stunts. Most women did not know how to ride even a cycle, let alone a motorcycle. But as time in training passed, their excitement and dedication towards performing stunts improved.
“I would like to say that the pace at which men learn the tricks of stunting on bikes, women have outdone them in it. They are much quicker in learning the trade than men. It may be because of their newly-grown interest but it is unbelievable,” expressed Tyagi.
He added, “Initially, we also thought that dangerous stunts might be more difficult for women to do but we have been pleasantly surprised that women are performing the stunts equally well.”
The major positive change this whole initiative has brought in is the change in mindset, according to Tyagi. He said that earlier they used to think that these activities are only a man’s domain, but now their own thinking has been changed because of these women. “We had never thought that women are capable of doing the stunts that they do now, but implementing this initiative has changed our own view as well. We feel very happy to take up this step to empower women.”
The women jabaanz team has gone and performed in various schools, colleges and institutes. Tyagi claims that young girls who see these women performing stunts feel inspired by their act. “The young girls feel that they are also capable of doing whatever they like regardless of the fact that the glass ceiling has been broken in that profession or not. So the women get encouraged a lot.”
Since a team of female stunt performers is for the first time coming into place, there is no female trainer to train them to do stunts. So male trainers who were till now training men in performing stunts had to train the women constables as well. And even the trainers could not believe it that women were learning the stunts faster than men.
Now women are expected to enter every field that only men had been champions of. Tyagi disclosed that more such activities are expected to happen in future and that women’s empowerment is a major concern for the BSF right now.