New Delhi: “Kadam kadam badhaye ja, khushi ke geet gaye jaa. Ye zindagi hai quam ki, tu quam pe lootaye ja”(March-march on forward, singing songs of happiness as you go. This life belongs to our motherland, lay it down for the motherland), 11-year-old Lavanya Nainwal sang as her mother, Jyoti Nainwal, wife of Indian Army Major Late Deepak Nainwal, was commissioned as a Lieutenant-rank officer in the Army.

Lavanya, daughter of an Indian Army Major who made the supreme sacrifice for the country fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, expressed that her mother is the best one in the world.

“I’m feeling very proud of my Mumma, she always used to say that she will become an Army officer and today she has fulfilled her dream… She is the best mother in the world, I love her very much”, a jubilant Lavanya told Zee Media as her mother joined Army on Saturday (November 20) after completing a gruelling 11-month training programme at Chennai’s Officers Training Academy. 

Dressed in Army uniforms, Lavanya and her seven-year-old brother Retansh were very excited about their mother’s feat.

“One day I will make her (mom) more proud than I am of her. I will become an Army Doctor… First, I wanted to become a Doctor, but after my father’s demise, my mother and I decided that I will become an Army Doctor,” Lavanya said confidently.

153 Indian cadets (124 men and 29 women) were commissioned into the Army as Lieutenant-rank officers, while 25 personnel (16 men and 19 women) from countries such as Afghanistan, Maldives and Bhutan, also competed in this course at the Army OTA.

As they were getting commissioned, the Officers sang along as the band played the iconic “Kadam Kadam”, which was the regimental quick march of the Indian National Army (INA), which was led by freedom fighter Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, in pre-Independence India.

The Passing out Parade, at the famed Major Parameswaran Drill Square, was reviewed by the Vice Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen CP Mohanty, who urged the young Officers to live fearlessly and walk with their heads held high.

Among those passing out of the Academy were youth from various academic and socio-economic backgrounds who were the first in their respective families to join the Armed Forces, while some others were second or third-generation soldiers, while two of them joined as ‘Veer Naris’.

While Veer Naris undergo the same training as their younger counterparts, the Army only relaxes the age criteria to accommodate the women, whose respective husbands had made the supreme sacrifice for the country. However, there is no dispensation in physical training or academic standards. 

“My motivation and inspiration was my mother. I have seen her being devoted to the nation for 28 years of her service, she retired as a Lt Colonel. I want to strive and be deserving of her legacy and that was my motivation,” Abhijith Nair, a newly-commissioned Lieutenant told Zee Media.

The young engineer with a specialization in Electronics and Communication found his stint with the National Cadet Corps (NCC) very useful in preparing for the challenging and adventurous Army life.

Holding back her tears, Abhijith’s mother, (Retd) Lt Col Vanaja said that it was a very proud moment as a mother and that she had been motivating her son from his formative years. 

Dhyan Singh Bisht’s joy knew no bounds, as he saw his daughter, Himanee, donning the coveted stars of a Commissioned Officer.

Bisht had retired as a Non-Commissioned Officer from the Army, but his daughter has done the entire family proud by following her father’s footsteps and also surpassing him.

“Being from an Army family, pursuing my school education in an Army school has been a great motivation and enrolling in NCC is one of the most important factors that motivated me to go to OTA. It’s been a great journey and I’ll be serving the nation with great effort and hard work,” she told Zee Media. 

Thakur Bhagwan Singh Bhati from Jodhpur is an elated man after having seen both his daughters get commissioned into the Indian Army as officers. The retired banker’s elder daughter Divya Singh Bhati is a serving Army Captain, whereas the younger daughter, Dimple Singh Bhati got Commissioned on Saturday, while also winning the OTA Silver medal for overall performance.

It was a special moment as Divya and Dimple posed before the ‘Rezang La’ block of the OTA, along with their father, as their family are related to Param Vir Chakra Maj Shaitan Singh, who made the Supreme sacrifice for India in the 1962 war against China, at Rezang Late Major Shaitan Singh led nearly 120 Indian soldiers in a battle against over 1300 Chinese troops.  

“Army always supported me, because of which I’m here.. I’m inspired by my daughter, she was too young to understand what was happening. I wanted to show my daughter and every woman, that when life puts you down, you always have to come back strong” Lieutenant Chinamaraju Mounika, a Veer Nari and wife of Army Aviator, Late Maj Gopikrishna, told Zee media. 

Having completed their course and Commissioning, these scholar-soldiers of the Indian Army will pan out to various parts of the country, to serve, defend the Motherland and bring glory to her. 

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