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Business News/ News / India/  Meet Shiva Chauhan, first woman officer deployed at Siachen at over 15,600 ft

Captain Shiva Chauhan of Fire and Fury Sappers has become the first woman officer to be operationally deployed in Kumar Post at the highest battlefield in the world-Siachen.

Before this, no women officer was ever deployed at Siachen glacier at such an altitude in the past 40 years after India launched Operation Meghdoot to secure the world’s highest and coldest battleground.

Like other soldiers, Chauhan will be deployed in the frozen landscape for three months. The temperature at Siachen can dip to minus 60 degrees Celsius.

Chauhan is now deployed at the Kumar post at a height of 15,632 feet. Almost 80% of posts on the glacier are located above 16,000 feet, with the highest post at more than 21,000 feet. She will be a team leader at the post and will be responsible for numerous combat engineering tasks.

The Siachen glacier at a height of around 20,000 feet in the Karakoram range is known as the highest militarised zone in the world where the soldiers have to battle frostbite and high winds.

In the past, women officers have been posted to Siachen base camp which is at about 9,000 ft as part of their regular postings along with the unit.

Chauhan underwent rigorous training at the Siachen Battle School before being deployed at the glacier. The training included endurance training, ice wall climbing, avalanche and crevasse rescue, and survival drills.

"In spite of various challenges, Captain Shiva with unflinching commitment completed the training," the army said in a statement.

Captain Shiva led the Sura Soi Cycling Expedition from Siachen War Memorial to the Kargil War Memorial conducted on the occasion of Kargil Vijay Diwas in July 2022. She took up the challenge of leading the men of the Sura Soi Engineer Regiment at the world’s highest battlefield, and based on her performance was selected to undergo training at the Siachen Battle School.

Chouhan/Chauhan was commissioned into the army in May 2021. The Rajasthan-based officer holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from NJR Institute of Technology in Udaipur. She lost her father at the young age of 11 years and her mother took care of her studies. From her childhood, she was motivated to join the Indian Armed Forces and showcased unparalleled zeal during training at Officers Training Academy, Chennai. The Army said the team of Sappers led by Shiva Chauhan will be responsible for numerous combat engineering tasks.

Indian armed forces are now offering women officers a raft of opportunities to women, empowering them and bridging the gender gap in the male-dominated field. Women in uniform are being assigned central roles on par with their male counterparts. 

The Indian Air Force and Navy have allowed women officers to join their special forces units --- the Garud commando force and Marine Commandos, respectively, to promote gender equality within their ranks, provided they meet the criteria for selection.

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Updated: 04 Jan 2023, 07:27 AM IST
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