As a matter of fact, women were not allowed to join the Indian Army until 1992. As they say every boundation causes a rebellion, this particular gender bias gave rise to a fierce and determined lady, Priya Jhingan.
She sent a letter to the Chief of Army Staff, General Sunith Francis Rodrigues, requesting him to oprn participation options for women in the Indian Army.
Only then she became the first woman to join the Indian Army as an officer.
Priya believes that women are in no way inferior to men and they should be given an equal opportunity to serve their motherland.
She was the daughter of a police officer, so the idea of serving the country and a lust for armed combat had been instated in her mind from the very childhood.
She once said:
I was fascinated by the idea of armed combats and serving my India or rather dying for it. Wearing that army uniform was my dream comes true.
After she sent the remarkable letter of request, soon there were newspaper advertisements for women to apply to the army.
Priya was able to make a place for herself in the army clearing all the required physical and academic tests (courtesy her hard and rock solid willpower) and went to the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai to take forward her dream career.
It was a sense of sheer pride and honor that you get when you are a part of world’s third largest army, which kept me going.
But their journey has not been all sunshine in teh army. They saw the hard burnt life of an army officer and became an stronger individual eventually. She recalls that their batch of 25 women were naive enough to believe that they would be given all the female amenities they were used to in their everyday lives.
So to their surprise, they recieved the same physical training as the male cadets.
We were naive to expect so. I still clearly remember one embarrassing incident when we were asked to go into the same pool as the men. Indian army sees no gender inside its vicinity. Everyone is on a national duty there.
After one year of intensive training, she joined the service on-roll as an officer on March 6, 1993.
Priya then really wished to join the infantry division of the army. However, as being a law graduate, she was appointed as the judge advocate general.
At that time, combat positions for female officers were non-existent.
Priya was allocated the enrolment number of 001 due to being the first woman candidate of Indian Army.
Her initiative as a woman not only paved a handful oppurtunities for million other women but also inspired them to join the service.
If want a change, be the change.