Idea first mooted in 2016; they have been using gear designed for men
In a first, women personnel of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) who have to face riotous mobs will soon get a body gear that fits them. Since Independence, the women personnel had to compromise with bulky, oversized body protectors designed for men. Around 300 women CRPF personnel posted in Srinagar to control the stone-pelting incidents are to benefit from these gears, a CRPF official said.
The full body protector has been designed by a team of scientists of the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a unit of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Dr. Bhuvnesh Kumar, Director, DIPAS said, “The gear covers all soft parts of human body such as rib-cage, back of the arm, inner calf, thigh and groin area of females deployed in riot control.” Scientist Dr. Shweta Rawat, who led the designing team, said anthropometric data was used to design the the gears which ensure protection of vital organs of women. Ms. Kulshreshtha added that the idea for gender- specific protective gears was first mooted at the National Conference for Women in 2016. “It will be available in all sizes and the material used is the same as that used in male body protectors. It will ensure better mobility. It has also paved the path for further research and development in the field of women-specific body armours and vests,” said Moses Dhinakaran, DIG and spokesperson, CRPF. Another official said once the mass production starts, the gears will be available for other central armed police forces and State police forces also. It will weigh around 6 kg. Around 8,000 women deployed in the anti-riot Rapid Action Force (RAF) will get the body protectors. The CRPF is likely to place an order for 9,000 such pieces.