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A New Beginning For Wives Of Martyrs As They Join The Army

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| September 10 , 2017 , 12:02 IST

It's common for children of martyrs to dream to join the armed forces one day, but for two wives of martyrs, they followed in the steps of their martyred husband and have joined the Army, marking a new beginning for themselves and their families.

Swati Mahadik, wife of Colonel Santosh Mahadik who died fighting terrorists in Kupwara district of Jammu & Kashmir in November 2015 was inspired to join the Armed forces after the untimely death of her husband.

Swati revealed that she would look at his uniform hanging in the wardrobe. "That inspired me to join the Army," she said.

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After clearing the SSB exam in 2016, Swati underwent the grueling 11-month training session at the Chennai Officers' Training Academy, where the cadets are trained physically and also receive classroom lessons on strategy and military history.

"I trained on a par with gentlemen cadets. Everything was the same. So I am waiting for the Army to allow us to take up combat roles," added Swati.

As a martyr's wife, Swati, 38, received a concession in age limit which is generally fixed at 27 years. The mother of two, a daughter Kartikee, 12, and son Swaraj, 6, is set to join Pune's Army Ordnance Corps as a commissioned lieutenant in the ordnance wing.

Nidhi Misra, the widow of a naik who died in 2009 holds an MBA degree and worked in an HR firm before teaching at an Army School, was inspired by Priya Semwal, another wife of a martyr who joined the Army in 2014.

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"It took me five attempts to clear the entrance exam," said Nidhi.

The difficulties did not end when the training began.

"After two months, I thought it would not work out but I stayed on. I thought about my eight-year-old child and my parents who stood behind me when I was trying to take the entrance exam." Nidhi said. Completing her training, Nidhi is set to join the ordnance wing of the armoured division in Jhansi.

Swati and Nidhi have joined the Army a day after finishing touches were made to a plan to induct 800 women in the military police as instructed by new defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman.