Usha Kiran, the youngest female CRPF officer to become a part of Commando Battalion for Resolute Action (CoBRA) and currently serving in the volatile Bastar region of Chhattisgarh, straddles both worlds of rough and refine.
While in the Maoist hub she has challenged gender stereotypes, a video doing the rounds on social media puts her in the same league with the likes of Kareena Kapoor Khan and Alia Bhatt.
As Indian showbiz is increasingly bringing women in uniform in spotlight through films and series, the world of fashion also did its bit in highlighting Kiran’s work.
At the Vogue Women of The Year Award 2018, Kiran walked the ramp amidst a gamut of ladies clad in figure-hugging gowns. But she took a proud walk in her CRPF uniform, standing out from the rest.
According to the video by Vogue, Kiran is Bastar’s first woman CRPF officer, and the choice of being in the Maoist hotbed was her own.
The video narrates: “She joined the 232 Mahila Battalion of CRPF during her one-year training course. Being one of the most sensitive regions of Chhattisgarh, no officers opt for taking the responsibility of the Naxal-hit Bastar region.
“As Kiran has a family history of having CRPF officers, she always wanted to join the battalion and save the poor people from the dread of Maoists and the terrorist’s activities.
“During her training period, she requested her seniors to allow her to serve under the male battalion in an extreme left-wing infested state or Jammu and Kashmir, or Northeast front areas. Finally, she was given the Chhattisgarh region, Bastar.”
Of her journey, the video further reveals that, “At a time when security forces were battling accusations of grave excesses, including rape, Kiran helped in changing the perception of the tribal women”.
She also shared how while relatives and neighbours would argue with her mother about the need to “control” her, her mother now proudly says, “Uski zidd ko control nahi kiya isliye aaj woh ye kar paayi hai (I didn’t control her, that’s why she has been able to achieve what she did.”