May 10th of each year is considered as a special day as it is dedicated to all the mother’s out there protecting and showering love selflessly towards their family. Interestingly many other women are serving not only their family but also have shown exemplary courage by putting our nation in the first place. Here are some of such outstanding examples of our nation’s mothers from a military perspective.
- Padmavathy Bandopadhyay
One cannot simply omit her name when it comes to our military. Her journey in the Indian military is an inspiring one. She was the first woman Air marshal of the Indian Air Force. Not only that but also she is the first woman officer to become an Aviation Medicine specialist. She was also the first woman to conduct scientific research at the North Pole during the late 1980s. She had an excellent track of service during the 1971 Indo-Pak war. She was awarded Vishisht Seva Medal for her outrageous courage.
2. Lt Col Mitali Madhumita
She was India’s first woman officer to receive the Sena Medal for her exemplary courage during 2011 operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the northeast part of India. She was leading our army’s English language training team in Kabul, Afghanistan. She was the first officer to reach the Indian embassy in Kabul that came under attack by suicide bombers in February 2010. Though unarmed, she ran close to 2 km to reach the spot, personally extricated nearly 19 officers of the Army training team who were buried beneath the rubble and rushed them to hospital. Her courage is inspiring isn’t.
3. Priya Jhingan- The first-ever lady cadet
Talking about women in Indian Armed Forces we cannot omit her. She was the first-ever lady cadet to join the Indian Army. She was enrolled as 001. In the year 1992, she wrote a letter to the Army Chief itself stating to allow her inside the armed forces. Upon her retirement, she said, “It’s a dream I have lived every day for the last 10 years.”
4. Punita Arora
She is a truly legendary figure who served our nation. She was the first woman to don the second-highest rank, Lieutenant General of Indian Armed Forces, and also the rank of Vice-Admiral of Indian Navy. She was also the commandant of the Armed Forces Medical College in 2004, the first woman at the helm of the institute. She has been awarded 15 medals in her 36 years of career in Indian Armed Forces. Some of them include Param Vishisht Seva Medal (for 30 years long service) Vishisht Seva Medal (for providing efficient and timely help to victims of the Kaluchak massacre) and Sena Medal.
5. Priya Semwal
As a mother of a 4-year-old child, she made history as the first army jawan’s wife to join as an officer in the armed forces. As a 26-year-old mother, she inducted into the Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering (EME). She decided to join the army in memory of her husband and his love for the motherland.
6. Lt Col Sophia Qureshi
Belonging to the Corps on Signals, She created history when she achieved the rare distinction of becoming the first woman officer to lead a training contingent of the Indian Army at Force 18, the ASEAN Plus multinational field training exercise held in 2016. She was the only woman officer contingent commander among all the other presented.
7. Shanti Tigga
She was no ordinary woman. Being 35 years old and mother of 2 children, she defeated all other male counterparts during the physical fitness tests training. She completed the 50m run in 12 seconds during her tests and outran all of her other male counterparts to complete her 1.5 km run with 5 seconds to spare. Being an expert marksman, she met with a tragic death proving that she made our nation her first place.
8. Lieutenant Ganeve Lalji
As a young Intelligence Officer, she created history by becoming the first woman to be appointed as a key aide to an Army Commander. As a third-generation army officer, she was commissioned into the Corps of Military Intelligence in 2011 and has shown outstanding feat ever since.
9. Gunjan Saxena
She made into the history by the first woman IAF officer to fly into the Combat Zone during the 1999 Kargil war between India and Pakistan. Later she became the first woman recipient of the Shaurya Vir Award.
Apart from this we still cannot omit those women (doctors, nurses, and police forces) who are serving our nation at this time of COVID-19 outbreak. In Uttar Pradesh town of Mainpuri, a 25-year-old woman cop is ensuring that lock-down is enforced duly and at the same time taking care of her child on duty. She says “It is my duty to serve the people of the nation. During such distressing times, it’s all the more important to serve the nation. It is my top priority right now”.
Thus the list goes on and on. From Lakshmi Sahgal (Chief of INA’s woman regiment) till each and every woman soldiers and officers serving our nation today deserves our massive respect and salute. They have proved to be a true patriot who has put our nation at their first place. Their sacrifice is supreme and nothing can match it. Happy Mother’s Day!