It is proud news for Kerala that a Kayalamkulam native woman is guarding the country with an AK-47 rifle at the Indian Army post at Ganderbal in the Kashmir Valley.
25-year-old Athira K Pillai is the only Malayalee woman in the Assam rifles guarding the Kashmir border as part of her duty.
Athira also has the reputation of being the only Malayalee woman among the women soldiers in the various forces guarding the border.
Athira’s father Keshava Pillai died thirteen years ago while serving in the Assam Rifles. She followed the footsteps of her father to join the Assam Rifles.
She was posted to Gandharbal, a border district in Kashmir, four months ago. The main task is to improve relations with the natives. ‘The locals, especially the women, are very happy to see us. “Girls on the border want to be soldiers like us when they grow up,” she said. They also aim to cultivate patriotism in the girls of the border.
Athira completed her school studies at Mandhiram LPS and VHS Thamarakkulam. She joined the Assam Rifles after earning a degree. Her appointment is in the Information Welfare category.