In a first, BSF event to feature Bangladesh delegation

In a first for any paramilitary force, foreign nationals will be part of the annual exhibition of the Border Security Force (BSF).

A Bangladeshi delegation of the Seemanta Prahari Kalyan Samiti, an association of the wives of Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) officials, will participate in the three-day event in the national capital from November 8.

The 12-member Bangladeshi team, led by Dilshad Nagar Aziz, will sell sarees, handicraft and leather goods at their stall, to be set up at the event ground located opposite the CGO Complex, which houses the BSF headquarters. Dilshad is the wife of BGB chief Major General Aziz Ahmed. Another attraction at the exhibition would be a “Kaun Banega Lakhpati” competition, on the lines of “Kaun Banega Crorepati”, besides Carnatic music, Bhojpuri music, puppet shows, magic shows and painting competitions.

Apart from the Bangladeshi delegation, there would be stalls from all the 12 Frontiers of the BSF, including Jammu and Kashmir, Delhi, Punjab, Gujarat, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Meghalaya, Manipur and Tripura. BSF spokesperson V N Parashar told Deccan Herald that this is the first time the annual exhibition is witnessing foreign participation. “We want to promote the good relations we share with Bangladesh,” he said.

A senior BSF official said this is only the beginning, and in the next editions, they could think about inviting Pakistan and other neighbouring countries, depending on the situation. Recently, the BSF decided to repatriate a nine-year-old girl to Bangladesh, and a delegation that went to Dhaka for talks with the BGB took her there.

Forty-eight years into service, the BSF guards the international border between India and Pakistan and India and Bangladesh, covering a total of 7,419 km. It is also roped in for counter-insurgency activities as well as fighting Maoists.

This year’s theme for the exhibition is “BSF Mela – Ek Muskaan” (BSF Mela – A Smile), to highlight the force's efforts in border areas to organise medical camps, especially for surgery of children who have congenital lip deformities. “In border areas, there are very few medical facilities, and we are told that many children refuse to look into mirrors due lip deformities. We decided to organise camps,” said Parashar.

The exhibition will also have a free medical check-up camp, where people can check their blood group and bone density.

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