It’s been two years since Swati Mahadik took an oath and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the armed forces. Protecting her country since, the wife of martyred Army Colonel Santosh Mahadik, completes two years into the service. Lt Swati Mahadik symbolises grit and courage, had joined the army at 37 as an officer after months of tough training.

November 17, 18 and 19, 2015 were the most painful days of Mahadik’s life. On November 17, 2015, Col Santosh Mahadik, commanding officer of the 41 Rashtriya Rifles, headed an operation to search for three terrorists from the Lashkar-e-Taiba. When the terrorists opened fire on the search party in Kupwara, he was hit and later succumbed to his injuries.

Key Takeaways:

  • Lt Swati Mahadik is the widow of Col Santosh Mahadik. They have two children, Karthikee and Swaraj. Now the Lieutenant in the armed forces completes two years in the service.
  • Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed while battling terrorists in Kashmir’s Kupwara in 2015. 
  • Swati decided to join the Army in 2017 when she was 37. She graduated from Chennai’s Officers’ Training Academy, and wanted to follow in Col Mahadik’s footsteps. 

His grief-stricken widow mourned and as a tribute to her hero husband, she set out to join the army herself. She successfully cleared the SSB (Service Selection Board) exam and joined the Officers Training Academy in Chennai, where she trained for 11 months before joining the service.

“This is my husband’s dream. I had other dreams – like being with my children – but I took up his dream,” Lt. Swati Mahadik had earlier said

The mother of two had said, “I felt I should be like him, that’s why I wore this uniform. It was his choice. His first love was this uniform. That’s why I had taken this decision,” ANI reported.

Also Read: First Woman Army Officer To Win Gallantry Award Gets Permanent Commission

Her husband, Late Colonel Santosh Mahadik — the Sena medal for gallantry recipient — died in an encounter, aged 39.

“I wanted to be close to him by joining the Army. Uniform was his first love and that is why I have decided to join the army, so that I can wear the uniform. I want to give a way of life to my children which he would have given to them,” Swati had told PTI

Mahadik, a graduate from the University of Pune, had decided to join the army on the day of her husband’s funeral. “The only concession the Army gives for widows of martyrs is age concession and that’s all I got. After that, all candidates are on par, whether in the written exam or the interview or the fitness tests,” she had claimed.

“There was no emotion, no happiness or sadness. Just numbness. It seemed routine, even though I had worked so hard for it in the last few months. I guess because there was no one to celebrate the news with,” Mahadik had told India Times about clearing the SSB.

Also read: India women army officers talk about the hurdles they face

Feature Image Credit: IRavindraShinde/Twitter

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