It is a captivating sight — rows of uniformed women stand in perfect coordination perched on Royal Enfield bullets. Some are seated, others are balanced between two bikes and those in the top row are perched even higher. And they are smiling, for good reason. After all, these women are part of an elite team handpicked by the Border Security Force.
Janbaaz is BSF’s first all-woman motorcycle stunt team, currently undergoing training at the paramilitary force’s academy in Tekanpur, Madhya Pradesh.
The team will showcase their skills for audiences in a series of performances this March. Mukesh Tyagi, Commandant of the Central School of Motor and Transport, BSF Academy, says, “In recent years, more women are joining the army and doing a wonderful job at the borders. Our men’s stunt team has been performing for 25 years, and we thought we could launch a similar initiative with women.”
Selections and training began in 2016. For the 45 volunteers from the force who were chosen to be part of the Janbaaz, the journey has been both challenging and exciting. Commandant Mukesh remembers how the girls transitioned from their initial reluctance to confidence.
“We realised that only a few of the girls knew how to ride bikes. These girls come from all over the country, and some of them did not even know how to ride a bicycle. We taught them the basic skills and as they gained confidence, we used our tested training techniques to develop them. In less than a month, we could see a transformation and some of the girls have picked up the skills faster than men.”
Motorcycle stunts are the backbone for BSF’s scintillating stunts, and the preferred machine is the iconic Royal Enfield Bullet.
These motorcycles are significantly heavier than regular bikes, and take some training even for seasoned bikers. The women of Jaanbaaz were trained in every aspect — from balancing on two-wheelers to advanced stunt techniques, which have been successfully used to train the men’s team.
BSF’s earlier stunt team, an all-male unit — also named Janbaaz — has been performing since 1990. Known for their gravity-defying stunts, they perform on special occasions like Republic Day and the BSF Raising Day. Their performances have earned them acknowledgement in the Limca Book of Records, and even former US President Barack Obama has applauded the team.
Having accomplished a few levels of training, the women’s team is now gearing up to perform in front of audiences. The trainers hope that these performances will help boost their confidence and take them another step further in their training.
The Janbaaz stunt is a step forward for BSF in showcasing the abilities of their female personnel.
“Women have made their presence felt in all walks of life today, including the army,” says Commandant Mukesh. “We have a team of highly motivated women who are willing to work hard and prove themselves. It’s a step forward for not just the BSF, but the whole country.”
The Janbaaz stunt team aims to carry on the BSF legacy in a new direction, showcasing the capacity among women to execute deadly stunts with grace and precision. The male team is known for its elaborate stunts involving entire teams and multiple motorcycles.
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The women’s team aims to reach — and perhaps even surpass — the high standards of performance that have already been established.Commandant Mukesh calls the team building and mentorship an ongoing process. “We have 45 members now and seeing their progress, we are hopeful of adding more members in the future.”
For now the fledgling team of Janbaaz women is readying to take its first flight, balanced impeccably on Bullets.