Although it is the year of 2017, not many women join the title of being an army, do they? Women are still confined in their territory of the kitchen and homemakers only. But not all women are same. Since time immemorial, there existed some women who always took some drastic step which ultimately established a milestone in the history of humanity. Mrs. Priya Jhingan is one of them. In the history of Indian Army, Mrs. Priya Jhingan is the first ever Indian woman to join the Indian armed forces. And if you have not heard about her glorifying story yet, let us have an ear to her incredible journey.
Early Life of Priya Jhingan
Since the childhood days, Mrs. Jhindan always has been a tomboy. She was the daughter of a police officer and has been born and brought up in the state of Himachal Pradesh. It was her dream to join the army one day. Thus after completing graduation, Mrs. Jhindan wrote a letter to the then Chief of Army Staff, General Sunith Francis Rodrigues and requested him to open the gate of Indian Armed Forces for women too.
Living the Dream
The General soon replied to her letter saying that the Army is planning to admit women in the Indian Armed Forces soon. Priya Jhindan dropped her plans of being a police officer and decided to wait until the Army called her again. In the meantime, she completed her study of law. Suddenly, in the year of 1992, she saw the advertisement of the Army calling for women to join the force. There were only two seats reserved for law graduates, and after lots of hurdles, Mrs. Jhindan made it to the final step. She joined the Indian Army as Judge Advocate General on 6th March of 1993.
The First Ever Indian Woman to Join The Indian Armed Force
Along with other 25 women, Mrs. Jhindan went to the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. It was not easy for them. The training session was as stringent as of the male cadets, and there was practically no difference. Along with other male officers, the female officers were also called ‘Sir, ’ and there was no gender discrimination at all. They had to train alongside men and also they were provided no extra facility for being women. Even, the female officers had to share the same toilet too. Finally, she was posted in Allahabad.
The Army Experiences and the Afterlife
After serving 10 years in Indian Army as a lady officer, Mrs. Priya Jhingan retired on 5th March 2003. After her retirement, she never spent her days in idleness. Rather she cleared the Haryana Judicial Service and later completed Bachelors degree in Mass Communication. After that, she became an editor at the weekly journal of ‘Sikkim Express.’ But finally, she quit all these jobs and joined The Lawrence School of Sanawar as a teacher. For four years, she is teaching the young students and inspiring them to be successful in life. Along with all her job as a teacher, she is also a homemaker and the mother of one son. She is married to Manoj Malhotra, a retired Lieutenant Colonel of Army who runs a company of adventurous sports. The couple lives in Solan, Himachal Pradesh.
The story of the military lady Priya Jhingan is more like an inspiration than a story. Even after her retirement, she never failed to inspire as she joined a school as the teacher of the 7th to 12th-grade students. More power to her and may her different story inspire millions to take the same step as she did!
Written By: Subharthi Bhattacharya