We all enjoyed and experienced the excitement of India’s recent win against England in one of the most entertaining cricket matches from the comfort of our homes. Some of us even braved the pandemic, went to the stadium, and caught the live action. Indians have always been very passionate about cricket, but have we ever spared a thought.
It’s because there are thousands of security personnel deployed at some of the most difficult terrains on our national borders. While we were enjoying this standoff between India and England on the cricket field, our forces on the borders were engaged in a different standoff, protecting our sovereignty. They remain alert and attentive 24×7, braving extreme weather conditions – only to make sure that the citizens of India remain safe.
Today, India is faced with varied threats emanating from cross-border terrorism, infiltration and changing nature of conflicts. India’s ~15k km of land border spans across some of the world’s most difficult terrains including mountains, tropical forests, deserts and densely populated areas. These diverse terrains form the playground of our revered Paramilitary forces where they have been executing their duties, flawlessly.
Paramilitary forces have enormous responsibilities
India’s homeland security has deployed Paramilitary forces towards developing a strong defence mechanism against external threats and maintaining national security and integrity. Additionally, these forces have also been entrusted with a huge responsibility for internal security, disaster management, and aiding other defence forces during wartime. Over 10 lakh personnel serve in eight paramilitary forces mitigating threats and protecting the nation against activities of intrusion, encroachment, and border violations.
The Border Security Force (BSF) is tasked with guarding sensitive international borders with Pakistan (over 3,300 km) and Bangladesh (4,096 km). While the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) mans the 3,488- km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China and the Sashastra Seema Bal(SSB) guards open Indian fronts with Nepal (1,751 km) and Bhutan (699 km). Owing to the vast territory and diverse terrains along these borders, 360o situational awareness becomes imperative for these forces.
The paramilitary forces have taken several initiatives to combat threats like 24×7 CCTV surveillance and deploying physical and non-physical barriers at borders. But with evolving times and challenges, limiting to only these won’t suffice.