Prakash Javadekar. Image Source: IANS News

New Delhi, March 8 : On the occasion of International Women's Day on Monday, Union Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar lauded women for their compassion, consistency and courage, while honouring the women officers in the Indian Forest Service (IFS).

The minister honoured 280 women IFS officers and 5,000 frontline staff. The IFS was created in 1865, but it had no women officer until 1980.

"God did not differentiate between men and women while giving capacities. Women have three important traits -- compassion, consistency and courage," Javadekar said.

He also recalled the contribution of Rani Ahilyabai, Rani Lakshmi Bai of Jhansi, Madam Curie and many others.

"There are so many women scientists and engineers. An old container ship was run by women,who have also gone to space," he said.

The minister was speaking virtually at the inauguration of a book titled 'The Green Queens of India - A Nation's Pride', which is a tribute to the women IFS officers.

From the time when the Imperial Forest Service was created way back in 1865, the IFS has witnessed a sea change in its functioning and structure.

One major milestone was the induction of three women officers in 1980. Since then, there has been no turning back and the cadre strength of women IFS officers has grown from a mere handful to over 250 serving officers today.

These women officers, along with the women personnel down the ranks, have been a formidable force to reckon with as they bring in their natural traits of effective communication, sincerity and dedication to the service.

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