Woman cadet storms male bastion

Woman cadet storms male bastion

A Divya First Woman To Get Sword Of Honour

D Madhavan | TNN

Chennai: Year after year, a gentleman cadet receives the ‘sword of honour’, the best all-round cadet award, at the passing-out parade of the Officers’ Training Academy, Chennai. This Saturday, for the first time in the history of the Indian Army, a lady cadet will receive the honour from chief of army staff Gen V K Singh.

A Divya (21) prevailed over stiff competition from 157 men and 70 women — who will all be inducted into the Army — to be awarded the coveted title. She also bagged three medals, including a gold and a silver in the endurance and physical training categories.

Daughter of Ajith Kumar, a Chennai-based businessman, Divya’s childhood ambition was to become an IAS officer. “But once I started interacting with Army officers in the NCC camps, I was clear about my career,’’ she says.

In academics, too, Divya shone, passing Class 12 with 94% marks from Good Shepherd Convent, Chennai, and clearing her BCom with 72% from Stella Maris College last year.

The hands that are adept at firing guns are also deft at Bharatanatyam mudras. ‘‘I started learning Bharatanatyam when I was in Class II. But when I decided to become an Army officer, I did not hesitate a bit before cropping my long hair,’’ says Divya, who was adjudged the best NCC cadet and the best parade commander at the Republic Day parade in 2008.

AN OFFICER AND A LADY: Divya is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer

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