Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal is all set to join the Indian Army ranks as a lieutenant. Widow of Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, a soldier martyred in the 2019 Pulwama attack, she is determined to keep his legacy alive by serving the nation. Reports suggest the 29-year-old is due to graduate from the Officers Training Academy, Chennai on May 29.
Dhoundiyal had filled the Short Service Examination (SSC) form in 2019 and, exactly one year from his death, cleared her examination in February 2020. “When I wrote the exam and gave the interview, I could feel what he would have felt when he wrote his SSC. I connected with him, his fears and his anxiety. Somehow that gave me strength,” she was quoted saying then, prior to joining army training.
“I worked very hard to qualify. I want to be an officer who everyone can be proud of, Vibhu can be proud of.”
Dhoundiyal, before training for the army, was employed with a Delhi-based multinational.
Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal: On Keeping Alive The Uniform’s Pride
Dhoundiyal had only been married eight months when the Pulwama tragedy occurred. In interviews, she has said she hasn’t stopped counting her years of marriage, despite death separating her husband from her.
In 2019, as the country mourned the loss of 40 Indian soldiers in Jammu and Kashmir, the wives of martyrs summoned all the strength they could muster to deal with the grief. Among them was Dhoundiyal, who bade her husband goodbye with a kiss and a long final look. A heartbreaking video of the same had gone viral. Watch below:
— ANI (@ANI) February 19, 2019
“You said you loved me, but the fact is you loved the nation more. I am really proud. We all love you. The way you love everyone is entirely different because you sacrificed your life for the people who you may have never met, but still you decided to give your life for them. You are such a brave man. I am very honoured to have you as my husband. I’ll love you till my last breath. I owe my life to you,” she had said.
After she overcame the initial ache of loss, Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal set her determinations straight on the path of the Indian Army, following close behind her husband’s footsteps. Over two years later, she’s reached the summit. And there’s only upward to go from there.