Women in blue: Delhi Police's SWAT team oozes confidence, style
Delhi Police got its first all-women Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team on Friday, a proud moment for all indeed. The moment the commandos land on the streets, they are inviting attention. And why not? Starting from their blue uniforms, their ammunition to their gait, everything oozes confidence and style. Want to know the man behind the uniform? Meet famous designer Ashish N Soni.
Was a start-to-finish process; took five months of brainstorming: Ashish
In Ashish's words, it took him five months of brainstorming, since it was a start-to-finish process. "From small things like buckles, to getting right manufacturers involved and getting approval from the officers in the force," everything took labor and time. While designing the uniform, he had two points in mind: to make the commandos feel good and confident and make it easy to identify.
Uniforms made of polyviscose, breathable and suitable for summers
For this, the color was suggested by top cop Amulya Patnaik, said Ashish. "We wanted to make the uniform at par with uniforms abroad so a lot of research went into it. I also wanted to keep it vibrant," he further shared. Once that was taken care of, Ashish wanted to concentrate on the material. So he chose polyviscose, instead of the usual polyester.
'It's different from khaki, had to make it easy'
"It is different from the material of your khaki uniforms. It's easy to wear, comfortable and doesn't stick to the body during summers. I had to ensure that the uniform was easy to put on, durable and conducive for both winter and summer," he added.
Patnaik's team searched for uniforms online before inviting Ashish
Patnaik, the man behind the idea of the SWAT induction, wanted a new uniform for them and had asked his team to research on the internet, said DCP (Special Cell) Sanjeev Yadav. When they failed to find anything appealing, they called in Ashish, for whom it's been an exciting and proud journey. "He gave us many proposals and finally we selected this," he said.
The team's first deployment will be during I-Day
The SWAT team would comprise 36 commandos, all from northeastern states, with 13 members from Assam and rest from Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Manipur. The women, who've received professional and rigorous 15-month training including in Krav Maga, an unarmed combat style, will be posted at strategic locations like Red Fort and India Gate, to ensure security during upcoming Independence Day celebrations.
'We are from India, not Nepal, and we aren't chinky'
Armed with AK-47, MP5 machine guns, Glock-17 or 26 pistols and corner-shot devices for enhanced night-vision, the women feel empowered. They also think since they are now donning an uniform and serving India, people may stop calling them names or ask silly questions like, "Are you from Nepal?" We salute all the SWAT commandos, like Sikkim's Sonira, Devika Kshetri and Assam's Tulika.