During the 37th edition of his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’, our PM Mr. Narendra Modi spoke about his unforgettable experience of celebrating Diwali with the Jawans protecting our border in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez sector. Along with lauding the valour of these brave hearts, he has also appreciated the efforts of the Indian forces in UN’s many peacekeeping missions. While we all know about the hardships that our defence forces undergo while keeping watch over our borders, how many of us know that these men/women of honour have also served in countries across the globe as peacekeepers? As we know more about these untold stories, our respect for these men/women in uniform goes up many folds. Let us understand more about these missions and why our forces are really sought after.

Understanding Peacekeeping And The Role Of Our Forces

PeaceKeepers are assigned by the United Nations to monitor as well as to observe peace in areas which were inflicted with conflict. They can include soldiers, police personnel and civilians and mainly provide assistance in the form of confidence-building exercises, power-sharing arrangements, electoral support, social and economic development. India is one among the top three contributors to these peacekeeping missions, the other two being Ethiopia and Bangladesh. Up to August 2017, India has been part of 50 of the total 71 peacekeeping operations across the globe, in countries like Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Congo, Cyprus, Liberia, Lebanon and Sudan. India is also the largest cumulative contributor of troops with almost 200,000 troops taking part in various missions, including 13 of the 16 current missions. There have been recorded almost 50 cases of sexual exploitations against UN Peacekeepers since last January, but not a single allegation against the Indian Force serving in these missions.

Being the First Female Contingent To Discharge PeaceKeeping Duties

Indian women from the police and army regiment have had an equal role to play in these UN Peacekeeping missions around the world. In fact, India holds the distinction of sending the first Female police contingent to serve as part of such a mission in Liberia, since 2007. The Liberian President, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, has lauded the efforts of the police force, which has encouraged Liberian women to imbibe the spirit of professionalism and take part in operations to safeguard the nation. He said that the contribution of the contingent in the areas of providing greater stability, confidence and assistance in strengthening the capacities of Liberian National Police has been tremendous. He also lauded their contributions in community affairs by providing training in first aid, HIV/AIDS education, self-defense and even in areas of Indian dance and music in some of the communities where they interacted. For the nine years that they stayed there, from 2007 to 2016, the All Women Force from our country have imparted a sense of security to the Liberian women, at a time when child and sex crimes were rampant.

What Makes Us The Most Sought After Forces

So, why is it that Indian Peacekeepers seem to be so much sought after and where do they score over the other Forces? To answer this, we should turn towards the unique qualities of Indian Forces, which make them better than their counterparts in other countries. A typical Indian army clerk is capable of speaking/writing English, read mail over the internet, maintain diaries, manage the registrations of all incoming/outgoing mails, do travel bookings and maintain accounts very meticulously. Also, Indian officers have social abilities like driving cars, ensure perfect documentation, and have good analytical skills. They don’t need many corrections in their drafts and can master UN formats in no time at all. It is the kind of training provided to these people in uniform, the experiences across various terrains and nature of threats that are steering them.

Amidst all the festivals that we keep celebrating across the country, we should always remember these brave hearts, who stay awake protecting us, staying away from their own kith and kin. It is not for nothing, that our Indian Forces have epitomised professionalism and sacrifice. It is the time we also know how much of an impact they are creating on the rest of the world, garnering respect in their wake. We should be proud of our Force, who project our National Image. While we struggle with our daily lives, let us take a moment to remember these Uniformed Guardians, who have left much behind them in the interest of the nation, and also the World.

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