State the main features of the Ho Chi Minh trail. Highlight the contribution of women towards it.
The features of the Ho Chi Minh trail are as follows:
(i) The Ho Chi Minh trail connected North Vietnam to South Vietnam and was an elaborate network of roads, footpaths, and mountain and jungle paths. It was used to transfer people as well as commodities from the north to the south.
(ii) It consisted of hospitals and support centres on its way and supplies were transported by trucks as well carried by porters.
(iii) Most of the trail was located outside Vietnam in the neighbouring countries of Laos and Cambodia with its branches extending into South Vietnam. It was also regularly rebuilt as there were constant bombings by the US who tried to suspend the supply line.
The role of women along the Ho Chi Minh trail is as follows:
(i) Women porters carried supplies along the trail as well as nursed the wounded.
(ii) They built underground moms and tunnels to fight against the enemy.
(iii) They also constructed airstrips, neutralised bombs, transported cargo weapons and shot down planes along with guarding and keeping watch over strategic roads and key points.