The Indian army has its first woman combat soldier with 35-year-old Sapper Shanti Tigga joining the 969 Railway Engineer Regiment of the Territorial Army, reported the Press Trust of India Monday.
Women are allowed to join the armed forces only as officers in the non-combat units, but Tigga, a mother of two, has earned the distinction of being the first lady soldier in the 1.3 million strong defense forces, said the report quoting a senior army officer as saying.
Tigga performed exceedingly well in all the physical tests and took five seconds less than her male counterparts to complete 1.5- km run. She completed the 50 meter run in 12 seconds which is rated as excellent.
Employed with the railways as points-man posted in West Bengal, Tigga volunteered for the Territorial Army (TA)last year.
"I joined railways in 2005 on compensatory ground after my husband passed away. Last year, I learnt about TA railways and I volunteered for it," Tigga was quoted as saying.