NEW DELHI: JThe CRPF on Friday unveiled the country's first prototype of a body protector for women personnel which it has jointly developed with the Defence Research and Development Organisation.

The "gender-specific protective gear" weighs 6 kg and has a different design and layout from the regular fibre-made black coloured body protector which is worn by both men and women police and paramilitary personnel during riot-control duties and regulation of public protests. 

One such female body protector, that would protect an individual from the neck to the toe with chest, hand, legs, shin and thigh guards, is estimated to cost 9,000, a senior official involved in the project said.

CRPF Director General R R Bhatnagar unveiled the new design at the forces' headquarters here.

The need to have women-specific body protector for police and Central Armed Police Forces personnel was first mooted during the national conference for women in police in 2016 that was organised by the Union Home Ministry here.

The prototype has been developed after over two years of research by the Central Reserve Police Force in collaboration with the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), that functions under the DRDO.

"While the weight and components of the new body gear are similar to the old one, it has a better ergonomical design that would help women personnel better manouvere and be comfortable while on duty," CRPF Deputy Inspector General (Intelligence) Moses Dhinakaran told PTI.

The officer said the CRPF, which has about 8,000 women personnel in its combat ranks, will soon issue technical specifications so that police gear manufacturing firms could provide them the new protectors in commercial quantity.

The CRPF and DIPAS carried out numerous tests for the new protector keeping in mind the duties rendered by its special anti-riots unit the Rapid Action Force, identified commonly by their blue duangree uniform.

"The scientists of DIPAS carried out a very careful study of women troopers of CRPF's RAF to ergonomically design the body protector for women."

"This path-breaking effort has also paved the path for further research and development in the field of women specific body armours and vests," Dhinakaran said.

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