Young girls separated from their families during the flight from East Pakistan have begun military training to join the Bangla Desh "freedom fighters".
Young girls separated from their families during the flight from East Pakistan have begun military training to join the Bangla Desh "freedom fighters". About 200 young girls, mostly Hindus, are doing military training at a centre in the Indian village of Krishnapur, about 20 miles east of Calcutta. The girls are taught physical training, first aid and field nursing.
SYNOPSIS: Young girls who fled from East Pakistan are training in Krishnapur to join the Bangla Desh "liberation army." The girls, who were separated from their families in the flight which brought around nine million refugees into India, are learning physical training, first aid and field nurse training.
The techniques of looking after wounded men are being taught to about 200 young girls, most of them Hindus. This is the first training centre for girls. Fighting became less and less throughout the rainy season until clashes were seldom reported. But since the end of the monsoon season there's been an upsurge of military activity by both sides in East Pakistan. These girls hope to help their menfolk.
Refugees from East Pakistan are still reported to be crossing the border at a rate of 15,000 to 40,000 a day. This number is expected to increase if the Pakistan army does mount its expected offensive when the floodwaters finally drain away completely. If the fleeing refugees get injured, these women, learning the chair technique to carry away injured people, could play a vital role. There could be many more injured people for the medical authorities to cope with.
The operation is being treated purely as a military one, with parade drill and important part of the procedure. The instructors are members of the Bangla Desh Women Organisation, an arm of the Mukti Fouj -- the liberation army of Bangla Desh. As the floods dry out this month or early November, the Mukti Fouj expect the next six weeks to be a crucial period in their struggle for independence