Source: Rajasthan Patrika-Pariwar Magazine (30-Jan-2019)

Woman Power on Display at R-Day Parade as Lady Officers Front Contingents

Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi 

2019 is off to a refreshing start. WhileIndia became the first Asian team to win a test series in Australia, now we have the first lady officer who will lead a contingent on the Army Day parade on January 15.

Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi will lead a contingent of 144 male personnel, first time in the history of Indian Army. Though, in 2015 lady officers from tri services had led a squadron with 148 personnel each on the Republic day, no woman officer prior to Lt. Bhavana had led the Army day parade.

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Captain Shikha Surabhi

It’s truly said that if you have the courage and dedication towards your goal, you will achieve your goal for sure, no matter how much time it takes. This proverb fits perfectly with the case of Captain Shikha Surabhi. This daughter of Bihar made us proud by being the first woman to be part of famed Daredevils team- a part of the Indian Army Corps of Signal which display nail-biting stunts on motorbikes- in the Republic Day parade.

Shikha Surbhi hails from Chhotka Rajpur village of Buxar district and is the daughter of Shailendra Singh. Currently posted in Bhatinda, Punjab she is working for Signal Core Division of Indian Army. Daredevils, a part of Signal Core Division performed astonishing bike stunts and the Captain, Shikha Singh saluted the Tricolour while standing on bike at the same time. She has worked really hard for this day she used to practice for hours for the parade.

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Aparna Kumar

Aparna Kumar has become the first woman Indian Police Service (IPS) and ITBP officer to successfully conquer the South Pole, the southernmost point on the globe situated in Antarctica.

Ms. Kumar, a 2002-batch officer of the Uttar Pradesh cadre, on Tuesday called on Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Home Secretary Rajiv Gauba. She described the challenges she faced in her six-year career of professional mountaineering.

“The trek to the South Pole was very challenging, tough and amidst very, very cold climate. With this success, I have scaled prominent peaks in six continents and I’m looking forward to the seventh, which is Mt Dinali in North America, this year,” Ms. Kumar, 44, told reporters during an interaction.

The South Pole is the coldest and driest place on Earth. The temperature there ranges from minus 37 degrees to minus 48 degrees and hence it makes the trek arduous and challenging.

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Captain Divya Ajith Kumar

Captain Divya Ajith Kumar is an officer of the Indian Army of AAD (Army Air Defense). She passed out from OTA, Chennai. She is the first woman to write her name in a fresh page of Indian Army history by becoming the first Lady Cadet to be conferred by the Army with the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’. She led all women contingent of 154 women officers and cadets during the Republic Day 2015 parade.

Captain Divya Ajith Kumar born in Chennai to a Tamil family. She is the first generation soldier with no army blood history in her past. She did her schooling at Good Shepherd Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Chennai and went to Stella Maris College, Chennai. She joined NCC (National Cadet Corps) which inspired her to join Indian Army and participated in NCC women contingent in Rajpath and later joined OTA ( Officers training academy). She passed from OTA (Officers training academy). Divya Ajith Kumar became the first woman in the history of the Indian Army to receive the coveted ‘Sword of Honour’ prize, which is awarded to the best cadet, where she passed with a total of 244 cadets, including 63 women. She is also a multi-faceted personality, Divya is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, percussionist and well-versed in sports like basketball and discus throw.

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Capt Bhavna Syal

The 70th Republic Day Parade, also the last of Prime Minister’s Narendra Modi’s current tenure, will be known for its many firsts. Among the most notable of them was the heartening sight of women contingents from the army, airforce and the navy marching down the Rajpath for the first time. It was a signal — if any signal was indeed needed — that times are changing. In this awesome display of women power, all eyes were focused on Major Khushboo Kanwar of the Assam Rifles, the country’s oldest paramilitary force, who created history by marching down the Rajpath for the first time.

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