CHENNAI: The appointment of Nirmala Sitharaman as the India’s Defence Minister has raised expectations of new opportunities for women in the armed forces. On Saturday, the wife of an Army Colonel who lost his life fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in 2015, was commissioned as a Lieutenant.
As she completed her parade in Chennai on Saturday, Lt. Swati Mahadik broke down and her family members and a senior army officer’s wife consoled, hugged her and wiped the tears of joy.
Lt. Swati Mahadik strived hard and went through a rigorous training. “I felt I should be like him that’s why I wore this uniform. It was his choice. His first love was this uniform. That’s why I had taken this decision,” she told news agency ANI.
Her two children – 12-year-old daughter Kartikee and 7-year-old son Swaraj, her mother-in-law Kalindi Ghorpade, her father Babanrao Shedge and her mother were present for the occasion.
Colonel Santosh Mahadik, a 38-year-old Indian Army Officer died in an encounter with terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir in November 2015.
The commanding officer of 41 Rashtriya Rifles, Colonel Mahadik died leading from the front. He was leading a counter-infiltration operation in the Manigah forest of Kupwara. He was at the forefront of a search party which was pursuing terrorists in extremely inhospitable terrain when terrorists targeted him with heavy machine gunfire.
In his sacrifice, the expert paratrooper and a combat underwater diver saved the lives of many men under his charge and was later posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra by the government of India.
The Mahadiks hail from Pogarwadi village in Satara district of western Maharashtra.
Another officer, Nidhi Dubey wife of Naik Mukesh Dubey accomplished a similar feat. Naik Mukesh Dubey died of a cardiac arrest in 2009. “I am so proud of it, I have done it just because of my family support. At the first stage it was difficult for me but after three months it became a part of my life,” she told news agency ANI.
With Inputs from IANS