Tuesday, July 27, 2021
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Army wives have nerves of steel, India is proud of them

India’s Bravehearts made us proud by laying their lives for our country but gave many reasons to feel proud by motivating their widows to join the services. Many martyred Army Jawan’s wives joined back Indian Army to serve the nation and live up to the dreams of their better halves. It takes a lot of courage to stand in the line of fire every single day, not knowing which one is going to be your last. However, what’s even harder is to see a loved one do that and not flinch, even when your worst fears come true. There is no doubt about the fact that the Army wives have nerves of steel. Today we honour and talk about a few women who chose to walk in the not-so-comfortable shoes of their martyred husbands and kept their legacies alive.

A year after Major Kaustubh Rane martyred in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir’s Gurez, his wife Kanika expressed her wish to join the Army. After her husband’s death, it was Kanika’s wish that she joins the Armed forces to keep the memories of her husband’s valour alive. She also wanted to don the uniform for her three-year-old son. Twenty-nine-year-old Major Kaustubh Rane was a resident of Sheetal Nagar area near Mumbai. On August 7, 2018, he had led an Army team, which laid a siege in Gurez area of North Kashmir during the night but were fired by the terrorists who had positioned themselves comfortably in the cover of darkness. While his team managed to foil the infiltration bid and gunned down two of the eight infiltrators, Major Rane along with three soldiers was killed during the operation.

The only son of his parents, Rane had always dreamed of joining the armed forces. He had completed his military training from Pune and was commissioned as an officer from the elite Officers Training Academy, Chennai in 2011. Kanika appeared for the exam to join the Indian Army as an officer and with her grit and determination, she cleared it. She will now be heading to Chennai for her training in October.

The wife of Army Major Prasad Ganesh, who was killed in a fire accident near the India-China border a few years ago, also joined the armed forces after completing one year of mandatory military training. Major Prasad died in a fire accident in Tawang district of Arunachal Pradesh on December 30, 2017. Gauri Prasad Mahadik, his wife who cleared the Services Selection Board (SSB) with flying colours in the widow category in her second attempt, joined the Officers Training Academy (OTA) of the Indian Army in Chennai this April. She is undergoing 49 weeks of training. After completing a one-year mandatory military training at the academy, the 31-year-old, Gauri will be inducted into the army as a lieutenant in March 2020. Gauri competed with 16 candidates during the SSB examinations and she topped the exam and qualified for training at OTA.

Gauri is a qualified lawyer and company secretary and was employed; however, after the death of her husband, she left the job and started preparing for the armed forces. She was firm to join the army as a tribute to her husband and the uniform which she will wear after commissioning. Gauri married Prasad in 2015 and resides with her in-laws in Virar.

Another brave woman who is the wife of an army soldier who was killed while on duty has joined the force after successfully completing her training. Neeru Sambyal has joined the Indian Army as a lieutenant three years after her husband was killed. Ms. Sambyal’s daughter was just two when her rifleman Ravinder was killed in April 2015. She had married him in April 2013. Ms. Sambyal completed 49 weeks of training.  She was commissioned on September 8. Being in the army, one has to be mentally strong as there are times when one has to face situations where physical strength won’t matter much because these ladies have sound mind and determination.

Garima Abrol is the wife of martyred squadron leader Samir Abrol, who lost his life in the Mirage 2000 aircraft crash. In February, she wrote a heartfelt post to the government questioning why these pilots had to die in such circumstances. Her post ended with the words ‘I do not want any other sister of the Armed Force family to suffer the pain that I am going through. Words can’t describe how painful it is out here alone without my better half, my BATMAN’. Then the news came that she had decided to step into the shoes of her husband and that she will be joining the Air Force next year.

We can only imagine how much strength and courage it would have taken to do what these women are doing. Another brave woman is Sangeeta Mall, wife of a rifleman who was killed in action in Jammu and Kashmir while battling terrorists. In March 2019, she was commissioned into the Indian Army after passing out from OTA (Officer’s Training Academy) in Chennai. Before Sangeeta got married to Shirish Mall, she was a teacher. They got married in 2013. Shishir was part of the Gorkha Rifles and was posted in Baramulla sector of Jammu and Kashmir when he was martyred in 2015 during a gun battle. It is not easy to choose to be with someone whose life you know is in danger every hour of every day. However, these strong women who not only chose to be with such men but also follow in their footsteps. Let us congratulate their strength and courage by speaking about them as much as possible.


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Dr Vaidehi Tamanhttp://www.vaidehisachin.com
Dr Vaidehi an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with Honourary Doctorate in Journalism, Investigative Journalist, Editor, Ethical Hacker, Philanthropist, and Author. She is Editor-in-Chief of Newsmakers Broadcasting and Communications Pvt. Ltd. for 11 years, which features an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, monthly magazines like Hackers5, Beyond The News (international) and Maritime Bridges. She is also an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Security Analyst and is also a Licensed Penetration Tester which caters to her freelance jobs.

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