Military widows Swati Mahadik, Nidhi Dubey join Indian Army
The widow of an army officer, Swati Mahadik and a mother of 2, joined the Indian Army at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai. Her husband had died in Kupwara in 2015. Another officer, Nidhi Dubey wife of Naik Mukesh Dubey accomplished a similar feat. Both women had struggled through hardships, these 2 women have indeed made the entire nation proud.
In 2015, Swati Mahadik was widowed when her husband Colonel Santosh Mahadik died fighting terrorists in Kupwara. Her husband was a highly decorated officer with a Shaurya Chakra and a Sena Medal. While bringing his body back from Udhampur to native Satara in Maharashtra, Swati decided she would become an army officer. She sent her 2 children to a boarding school and started preparing.
Mahadik had everything from determination and perseverance by her side, what she lacked was the benefit of age. The age limit for Services Selection Board (SSB) meant Swati, aged 32, could not join. However, the Army relaxed the age criteria in this case, post which she was allowed to appear for the test. Following her selection, she went to Chennai for training.
In yet another similar case, Nidhi Dubey's soldier husband Naik Mukesh Dubey died of a cardiac arrest in 2009. Shunned by her in-laws, the 4-months pregnant Nidhi returned to her parents' home. She began training in 2014, seeing an advertisement inviting military widows to join the Army. Things weren't easy for Nidhi who appeared for the entrance exam 5 times, finally succeeding in the last attempt.
There was only 1 vacancy for 1 war widow and 2 had cleared the 5-phased Service Selection Board exam. Advised by Brigadier R Vinayak, Nidhi wrote to Army Headquarters and requested an extra vacancy. The army sanctioned this request.