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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: In a first for a paramilitary, border guarding force ITBP has developed 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, has about 25,000 unmarried men and 1,000 women in its various ranks at present, officials told PTI.

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 Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) official said.

The force, as per data accessed, has about 333 force couples (both husband and wife in the ITBP) and a number of personnel prefer a spouse from within the organisation as 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, such a step of serving together brings the much-required 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 as 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 told the news agency.

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 SMS ping, the official added.

As per data, a senior Home Ministry official said, there are about 2.5 lakh bachelors in all the CAPFs that have a combined strength of about 10 lakh personnel.

The Central Armed Police Forces 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 well go beyond this method to find their life partner," the Home Ministry official said.

The about 90,000 personnel strength ITBP was raised 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.


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