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Bombaywatch: Mumbai to get first female lifeguards

28 april 2011, 09:29
Kerry Blewett, India's first woman lifeguard. Photo courtesy of forum.santabanta.com
Kerry Blewett, India's first woman lifeguard. Photo courtesy of forum.santabanta.com
India's financial and entertainment capital Mumbai is to get its first female lifeguards as part of an equality drive, AFP reports.

"Women lifeguards will be a big help to rescue women and girls as there is a certain awkwardness when women have to be rescued by male lifeguards," Mumbai Fire Brigade chief Uday Tatkare told the Indian Express newspaper.

The move comes after the state government of Maharashtra, of which Mumbai is the capital, introduced a policy to reserve a third of all civic administration posts for women.

The fire brigade in the city formerly known as Bombay was recently opened up to women for the first time.

Forty-seven of the 157 vacant firefighter posts were reserved for female candidates but only 13 applied and just two were successful, the newspaper said.

Mumbai, which lies on India's west coast and has a number of popular beaches, is currently looking for seven new lifeguards.

Tatkare said that two of the posts will go to women when recruitment starts in the coming weeks. The resort state of Goa already has female lifeguards, the newspaper said.

Candidates will have to be able to swim 200 metres (yards) within a specified time limit, run 800 metres and do press-ups, the DNA newspaper added.

The Mumbai Fire Brigade, which oversees the lifeguard service, could not be reached for comment by AFP.

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