Sapper Shanti Tigga – The First Female Jawan of the Indian Army

13th May, 2017

| by writesolutions

Very few women have dared to make their mark in a man’s world. One such woman is Sapper Shanti Tigga, the first-ever female Jawan of the Indian Army.

It is only in 1992 that Indian Army decided to break the gender barriers. Nevertheless, unlike the armies in the Western countries, Indian women are still not allowed to join combat units. Even today, female soldiers are recruited only in medical, engineering and the other support divisions of the Indian Army. However, Sapper Shanti Tigga managed to break these barriers and enter into the combat battalion successfully.

A mother of two, Shanti Tigga was in perfect physical shape at the age of 35, when she took tests to join the Railway Engineer Regiment of Territorial Army. Through hard work, perseverance and self-determination she managed to outperform all her male counterparts in the physical tests and gained entry into the strong 1.3 million all-male military force.

Joining the army, wearing the olive green uniform and using a powerful fire gun had always been the dream of Tigga. To achieve this, she did put in major efforts to keep herself immensely fit, despite being a mother of two kids.
She took only 12 seconds to complete a 50 meter run

She completed the 1.5 km run 5 seconds before her other male counterparts could catch up
Her ability to handle guns helped her earn the highest position of a marksman
It was she who received the award of the best trainee, despite being the only female Jawan of the 969 Railway Engineering Regiment of the Territorial Army
This is what she had to say about herself….
“I joined Indian Railways on compensatory grounds in 2005, after my husband passed away. Later I came to know about the TA Railways and decided to volunteer for it. I hardly knew that I was the first woman to be joining the army as a PROB (Personnel below Officer Rank) when I was giving my physical tests. Even if I had known, it would not have stopped me from achieving my goal of joining the army.”

Courage, they say, is that one thing that turns people into achievers. It is this courage that helps them achieve their almost impossible dreams and inspire people to do so. It is this bravado that makes them overcome all the challenges that come in their way, without giving up at any point of time. Nevertheless, it is never to be misunderstood that it is only men that possess this courage.

Time and again we have come across a few extraordinary women like Sapper Shanti Tigga, who have dared to invade the territories that have been marked for men and stayed long enough to call them their own. If not for them it would have been impossible for us to see women in professional spaces with utmost normalcy, today.
Shanti Tigga met with a tragic death on May 15th 2013; but she will always be remembered as a woman who carried valor and prowess, beyond compare.


Radhika Sachdev

Content Strategist

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