'Nari Shakti' marches through Rajpath

'Nari Shakti' marches through Rajpath

'Nari Shakti' marches through Rajpath

Two pairs of sisters, widow of two Navy officers, who met with untimely death and 10 women mountaineers, conquerors of the Everest, were among the 450 plus women officers, who marched on the Rajpath as the armed forces depicted Nari Shakti or Women's Power.

The first pair of sisters is Lieutenant Prabhjot Daveta and Flying Officer Ramnik Daveta, who took part in the women officers contingent of the Army and Air Force respectively.

The two second generation officers donned their uniforms taking inspiration from their father, who was a Colonel in the Army.

Lieutenant Prabhjot is serving in the Army Service Corps whereas Flying Officer Ramnik is posted in the Air Force Station Kanpur.

Lieutenant Surabhi Gandhi from Himachal Pradesh, who joined the Navy two years before
her younger sister Lieutenant Soloni Gandhi, were part of the 144 strong Naval women officer marching contingent, led by Lt Cdr Priya Jeyakumar, who was commissioned in the Navy in 2010 but got her first opportunity this time.

It was the fourth participation for Lt Cdr Shweta Kapur who sailed in the high seas in the Navy's yacht Mhadei. This time she did not march, but stood atop the a Navy tableau that projected the accomplishment of four of the Navy’s women officers who braved the vagaries of the seas and participated in an ocean voyage from Goa to Rio-de-Janeiro in Brazil.

The naval contingent had two women officers who lost their naval officer husbands in accidents.

Sub-Lieutenant Sandhya Wadhwa's husband Commander Kuntal Wadhwa died in a accident on board INS Kolkata – the new indigenously-built Destroyer – when the ship was undergoing trials at the dockyard. He was to take over as the ship's engineering officer but died while testing a carbon dioxide unit.

Sandhya overcame the shock and grief to join the Navy. Incidentally, Commander Kuntal Wadhwa on Sunday was posthumously awarded Nau Sena Medal (Gallantry).

Lt Chippy K Devasia, 30, who lost her husband, Lt Cdr Jose Mathew, in an accident in Mauritius in 2013, also decided to join the maritime service as a personal tribute to the man she loved. Unlike many women who come from the family of the armed forces, there was also Sub-Lt Hema S, who hails from a humble background in Bangalore.

“It was a proud moment for all of us,” said Lieutenant Bidisha Pandey, a logistics officer from the Eastern Naval Command.

While the IAF contingent was led by Squadron Leader Sneha Shekawat, the 154-member all women army team was headed by Captain Divya Ajit Kumar, who passed out of Officer's Training Academy, Chennai, in 2010 and is serving with the Corps of Air Defence.
The Army, Air Force and Navy currently employ women as short service commission officers in the non-combat branches.

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