Yet another glass ceiling has cracked. Year after year, a male cadet had received the ‘Sword of Honour’, the best all-round cadet award, at the passing out parade of the Officer’s Training Academy (OTA), Chennai.
This Saturday, for the first time in the history of the Indian Army, a lady cadet will receive the honour, from chief of army staff Gen V K Singh. A Divya (21) came up trumps over 157 men and 70 women who will be inducted into the Army, to bag the coveted title that is given to the cadet who excels on several parameters including physical agility.
Daughter of a Chennai-based businessman, Divya took the baby steps towards her dream of becoming a military woman during her NCC days, traversing the rugged terrain of Kancheepuram, Madurai and Tiruchi where she attended camps. “My childhood ambition was to become an IAS officer. But once I started interacting with army officers in the NCC camps, I was clear about my career,” said Divya, who has excelled in both academics and physical endurance. The hands that hold the guns are also adept at Bharatanatyam mudras.
“I started learning Bharatanatyam when I was in Class II. But when I decided to become an army officer, I did not hesitate to crop my long hair,” said Divya, who was adjudged the best NCC cadet and the best parade commander at the Republic Day Parade in 2008. “She has her dreams,” said Divya’s mother Dinah Ajith Kumar, “And we are solidly behind her.” Read more: Chennai woman 1st to win best cadet award