Women’s Day Special CREATING HISTORY

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Some women tread the path on which others have never stepped before. They are the trailblazers who ‘create a path’ for others to follow! On this Women’s Day, we bring the story of three indomitable spirited women from our defence forces.

Romi Randhawa created history by being the first war widow (now called Veer Nari) to have opted to become a commissioned officer in the Indian Army. “This was also a first in the entire world. This happened after she came to my office in late 1997 with the request that she be permitted to take the exam for entrance to the Army. She had been married in October 1994 and lost her husband in June 1997, when her little daughter was a year old,” narrates Mrs Ranjana Malik (Wife of Ex. Chief of Army Ved Malik)

With her determination and her mental strength, she has become an inspiration for so many others.
During the last 24 years, her journey as an officer has been a tale of grit, courage, and strength. She has
proven herself at every step. Her decision taken in 1997 paved the way for many more. Her daughter
Simran, presently based in Canada, has written a heart-warming tale about her mother and what she, the
young girl, faced in all these years in a book- ‘The Cost of War’- Romi Randhawa. An epitome of women’s power, whose husband died fighting for the Nation, she did not let that dishearten her but made a winning life out of it, serving the Nation and following her martyred husband’s footsteps.

When the headlines fade, and the applause and the accolades are gone, families have to internalise how to
cope with loss and the true meaning of valour. I was the first war widow to join the Army, fighting the rules
to become a Veer Nari, fighting for a change in procedure. My husband, Maj SJS Randhawa- KIRTI CHAKRA- lost fighting antinationals in the line of duty

My husband wanted our daughter to be brought up in the Army background, and that inspired me to don
the uniform.

Following my husband’s footsteps, I wanted to fulfil his dream to serve the Nation.

It was the need of the hour. I had always been an athlete. Strength came from my mother andthe desire to realise my husband’s dream.

My Army fraternity and my parents helped me. It is not easy to raise a single child, but the Ar my helped me
every day. INDIAN ARMY exemplifies valour and is a be autiful organisation that benefits every member.
To protect INDIA, NDIAN ARMY would go to any extent.

By Lippi Parida

Senior Columnist

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