Woman power will be focus of Republic Day: Major General Rajpal Punia, Deputy Parade Commander

New Delhi, Delhi, IndiaWritten By: Sidhant SibalUpdated: Jan 24, 2019, 01:47 PM IST

Major General Rajpal Punia. Photograph:(WION)

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From INA veterans, to an aircraft flying on biofuel, to a woman leading an all-men army contingent, this year's Republic Day will see a number of firsts.


WION speaks with Major General Rajpal Punia, Deputy Parade Commander of this year's Republic Day parade: 

WION: What will be the focus this time?

Major General Rajpal Punia: Well, this time for the first time Indian national army soldier will be participating in the parade. Besides this we have all women contingent where all the participants in the contingent will be women-- it is Assam Rifle contingent that will be participating. We have four contingent commanders who are lady officers. It will also happen for the first time. Because individually lady officers have commanded contingent but not in such large number. We have Make-in-India equipment K9 Vajra. It is going to be pride for the nation. Also, we will be using biofuel Jatropha fuel made in India and aircraft will be flying on it for the first time.

WION: How much focus will be on women power?

Major General Rajpal Punia: I agree. No doubt. Women power is very powerful. This time we have a very large number of women participating including in motorcycle display. There is a lady officer who is commanding motorcycle display. We have all women continent. Women power this time is maximum compared to previous years.

WION: Use of biofuel-- Jatropha, can u explain more?

Major General Rajpal Punia: Its a plant. We trying to extract oil for a number of years from it. We even think that it will be replacing oil in the coming years. Jatropha oil being used by AN-32 to fly. You can imagine, if an aircraft can fly, then for the country its a self-sufficiency.

WION: Indian National Army (INA) veterans are also taking part this time? 

Major General Rajpal Punia: Four INA soldiers who are participating. These people are-- Lalti Ram, 98 years old living in Panchkula, Hira Singh, 97, living in Narnaul, Bhagmal, 100 years living in Manesar and Parmanand Yadav, 95 from Chandigarh.  It is a matter of honour. Its a great honour for the country that we have veterans of INA participating.