Amritsar, Dec 4 (IANS) The Border Security Force (BSF), the world's largest border guarding force, which is deployed along 6,386 km of International Border with Pakistan and Bangladesh, on Sunday organised a ceremonial parade, comprising the Mahila Prahari contingent at Guru Nanak Dev University in this Punjab city on the occasion of its 58th Raising Day.
For the first time in the history of 57 years, the ceremonial Raising Day Parade was organised in Amritsar, in rich traditional atmosphere of fervour and gaiety.
Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai took the salute of the impressive parade as the chief guest.
During the parade, well turned out contingents of different Frontiers of the BSF marched past the inspection dais, showcasing the Seema Praharis' valour, saga and commitment to the nation.
The parade comprised a march past of 12-foot contingents, including Mahila Prahari contingent, decorated officers and men, the famed Camel contingent and Camel Band, mounted column, dog squad, communication contingent displaying the technological advances by the force with the special appearance by the BSF Bagpipers (men and women).
The chief guest first arrived at the BSF Martyr's Column at SHQ BSF Khasa, Amritsar, and laid a wreath at the Martyr's Column of the personnel who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty.
On this occasion, Director General (BSF) Pankaj Kumar Singh, while summarizing the historical aspects of the force in his address, described the journey of the BSF which after being raised with just 25 battalions has now evolved into the largest border guarding force of the world with 193 battalions and a strength of more than 2.65 lakh brave men and women deployed in every kind of extreme terrain, temperatures and other challenging scenarios.
He explained how this force has established itself as a multi-functional force efficiently discharging its various responsibilities.
The Director General also emphasised the achievements of various formations and institutions of the BSF in the areas of operations, sports, adventure, welfare, bilateral cooperation with neighbouring countries and various other fields.
He assured that every Seema Prahari will strive to protect the sovereignty of the nation's borders even at the peril of their lives. He also referred to the BSF's achievements, new initiatives and preparations to deal with future challenges.
Minister of State Rai bestowed the force personnel with Police Medals for Gallantry to the next of kin of bravehearts who made the supreme sacrifice in the line of duty and to the serving BSF personnel. The President's Police Medals for Distinguished Service to serving and retired personnel for their services were also given by the minister.
The prestigious 'General Choudhary Trophy' was awarded to 66 Bn BSF for their exceptional performance. He also released the annual 'Borderman' Magazine of the force.
During his address, the minister lauded the parade and the decision to organise the event in Amritsar and the significance of 'Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav' being commemorated this year.
He lauded the role of the BSF as India's first line of defence while deployed in every kind of terrain and extreme weather, the various welfare measures that have been implemented in the forces by the Government of India and made special mention of the plantation drive made by the BSF.
He also emphasised on the importance of border area development and the proactive role being played by BSF for addressing it.
A thrilling dog show by NTCD BSF trained dogs, battle drills show by Camel mounted praharis, horse contingent, Gajraj and Chetak drill by CSMT BSF team that involved dismantling, obstacle crossing and assembly of motor vehicle, adrenaline packed daredevil motorcycle show by Seema Bhawani women team and Jaanbaaz men's team.