The Courageous and Brave women in the Indian army

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There are many brave women in the Indian army who broke the glass ceiling with their tremendous courage and substance. Indian Government is taking various steps to defeat gender barriers in its armed forces by enabling women to join the Indian army and serving onboard submarines, in ground combat positions and even in tank units. These brave daughters of India have definitely made the nation proud.

Here are some brave women in the Indian army:

Punita AroraPunita Arora

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  • Punita Arora is the first woman in India to achieve the second-highest rank in the Indian Army of Lieutenant General of Indian Armed Forces, as well as the rank of Vice-Admiral of Indian Navy.
  • In 2004, she was the commandant in the Armed Forces Medical College, the first woman at the helm of the institute.
  • She has also coordinated medical research for the armed forces as additional director-general of Armed Forces Medical Services (AFMS).

Padmavathy BandopadhyayPadmavathy Bandopadhyay

  • Padmavathy set the bar high when she became the first woman officer to come out of the Defense Service Staff College.
  • She is the first woman Air Marshal of the Indian Air Force and is the first woman to become a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Society.
  • She is also the first Indian woman to conduct an experiment on extreme cold habituation in the North Pole.

Divya Ajith KumarDivya Ajith Kumar

  • At the age of 21, Divya Kumar created history by becoming the first Lady Cadet in the Indian Army to receive the coveted ‘Sword of Honor’.
  • She excelled among her batch of 244 cadets which included 63 women and men to get awarded.
  • At 25, she guided all-women contingent of 154 officers during the 2015 Republic Day parade.

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Mitali MadhumitaMitali Madhumita

  • Mitali became the first woman officer in the Indian Army to receive, ‘Sena’ Medal.
  • The honour is usually awarded to officers who die serving the army or show exceptional courage in a crisis.
  • Mitali risked her life when she saved several injured civilians and army personnel during the 2010 attack on the Indian Embassy in Kabul.

Priya JhinganPriya Jhingan

  • Priya was among the first batch of 25 women officers who got commissioned in the Indian Army in 1993. You can call her the first women to join the Indian Army as her Cadet number was 001.
  • She wrote a letter to the Chief of Staff, General Sunith Francis Rodrigues to allow women to enrol in the army. 
  • The Indian army opened admission for women much later than the Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force.

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Gunjan SaxenaGunjan Saxena

  • Gunjan Saxena is the first woman IAF officer to fly in a combat zone during the Kargil war.
  • In 1994, Gunjan Saxena was one among 25 young women who formed the first batch of women IAF trainee pilots.
  • During Kargil, she flew through the war zone to air-drop supplies to troops and to evacuate injured Indian Army soldiers.
  • Later, she became the first woman to receive the Shaurya Vir Award. An award that is given for valour, courageous action or self-sacrifice while not engaged in direct action with the enemy.

Sophia QureshiSophia Qureshi

  • Sophia Qureshi became the first woman officer to lead a 40-member army contingent at the international military exercise.
  • She was the only woman commander among all participating countries which included the USA, Japan, South Korea, Russia and China.
  • Lt Col Sophia Qureshi became the first woman officer to guide a training contingent of the Exercise Force 18, the ASEAN Plus multinational field training exercise held in 2016.

Ganeve LaljiGaneve Lalji

  • She became the first woman to be appointed as the ADC (aide-de-camp) in the Indian Army.
  • This importance is given to officers who prove their ability to cope with multiple challenges and hardships.
  • In 2013, she proved it when she became the key aide to the Army Commander, Lieutenant General Rajan Bakshi.
  • Ganeve Lalji was selected among the 350 women officer on the basis of a study conducted to measure the motivational and aspirational levels of women officers in the force.

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