In a first for paramilitary troops, the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) has created a matrimonial portal for its unmarried, widowed and separated personnel to help them find a suitable “soulmate” within their service.
The mountain warfare-trained force, primarily tasked to guard the Line of Actual Control (LAC) with China, currently has around 2,500 unmarried men and 1,000 women in its various ranks, officials said.
A number of these personnel are posted and deployed in remote border locations and far-flung areas and it becomes an “uphill task” for them and their families to find a suitable match, a senior ITBP official said.
The force, according to data, has about 333 couples in the force (both husband and wife in the ITBP) and a number of personnel prefer a spouse from within the organisation since government rules allow preferential posting to a couple at the same location, the official said.
Considering the hard duties that the force renders along the mountainous border, the step taken to serve together brings relief for service couples, they said.
Keeping these issues in mind, ITBP Director General S S Deswal recently asked the information technology (IT) wing of the force to develop a matrimonial portal that will work to alleviate the problem of separated posting amongst working couples.
The portal ensures safe match-finding since only authentic information from a person’s service records is uploaded by the IT team, thereby removing the malpractice of furnishing false data about an eligible candidate, the official said. A link for the unique portal has been launched on December 9 on the official website of the force.
“There have been 150 registrations on the portal till now. We sincerely hope that more interested eligible personnel will register and find the new online service useful. The portal can be used by unmarried, widowed and separated personnel,” ITBP spokesperson Vivek Kumar Pandey said.
Vital service details of a personnel like rank, date of joining the force, home town location, current posting and photograph will be visible on the site. The eligible candidate cannot add or delete any data except that they will have the choice to allow or disallow display of personal mobile number and email, they said. Once a person expresses interest in contacting the other, he or she will get an email and an SMS, the official added.
According to data, a senior Home Ministry official said, there are about 2.5 lakh bachelors in all the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) that have a combined strength of about 10 lakh personnel. The CAPFs, under the Union home ministry comprises forces like CRPF, BSF, CISF, SSB and ITBP apart from the NSG and the NDRF.
“This ITBP initiative is a smart idea to ensure that the unmarried men and women in combat and other ranks find a suitable soulmate for themselves. This in-house matrimonial portal is also a secure way of sharing personal information.”
“However, this is absolutely optional and personnel can go well beyond this method to find their life partner,” the Home Ministry official said.
The ITBP, with a 90,000 personnel strength was established in the aftermath of the Chinese aggression in 1962 and is also deployed for rendering a variety of internal security duties in the country including anti-Naxal operations.