My Story: I Became India’s First Woman Commander Trainer And Have Trained Over 20,000 Soldiers
“My father was a freedom fighter, and my whole life I’ve wanted to be like him— to make a difference for my country. Even though I’m a certified doctor, my heart always longed to serve the country.
A major event that happened early on in my life was meeting my partner — I found my entire world in one person. What started off as an innocent attraction turned into a lifelong bond — at 18 we knew we wanted to spend the rest of our lives together and our parents didn’t approve so we set out on our own since then.
He knew that I wanted to empower myself and do something for the country so as a stepping stone, he began to train me in martial arts. We would go to work all day and at night train until sunrise…with every passing day I felt more independent and powerful. I wanted to become a commando trainer and I was so determined that I trained harder than ever before.
Once, when my husband and I were in Pune we passed a group of army men who were training in the morning. We approached them, told them who we were and asked them if they would like us to demonstrate our form of training and they agreed. Since then, we haven’t looked back. We began to train army personnel all over the country and I became India’s first woman commander trainer.
As time went by and my commitment to this cause grew, my in-laws disapproved of me, the woman of the house undergoing such intense training and one day asked us to leave their home. My husband and I moved into this small clinic space, which is the only place we had at that but this is something that brought us even closer together. Those were difficult days— I’ve sold a lot of my jewellery to make ends meet but I have absolutely no regrets. I spent most of my youth in freezing high altitudes, scorching hot deserts, dense jungles and hostile LOCs and I loved every minute of it.
It was sometime then that the conversation of starting a family came up, and after many healthy conversations my husband and I decided to adopt. I was at the peak of my career and I didn’t even want to stop for a second, so this way we could balance our work and the child without having to give anything up. We adopted our little girl, who is now a doctor and what can I say…she makes us proud every single day.
So while I am a doctor, I pride myself on the fact that since the past 20 years I have trained without any compensation over 20,000 Indian soldiers from every elite force including the NSG BlackCats, IAF Guards, Indian Navy Marcos, BSF and many more. In fact, after the 26/11 attacks, I was called in to train the police of 16 cities. There have been many lows in my life — on the family front, on the health front — I’ve been injured multiple times and on the financial front as well…but I didn’t stop.
Often I hear that we live in a male dominated society, but I have never let my gender come in the way of what I wanted to achieve. My husband and I have always been equals and that’s why we’re so strong — from work to family we’re equally invested in both. As a society, that’s how we evolve — by having strong, independent women who are supported by strong, independent men as equals — two halves who can take on the world together.”
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