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With husbands being posted in borders and distant lands, an army wife’s life is complicated. Amidst all the hardship they fail not to surprise us with their achievements.
She doesn’t wear any uniform… She is not in the Military… She doesn’t risk her life for the sake of our country… Yet, she is a warrior… She is a hero… She is the Military wife!
We often think how difficult it is to be a soldier, it is very tough indeed. But being the wife of a military person is no less a challenge. When husbands sacrifice their life, deep within wives do it too. In spite of all this they have their own identities and they strive to do more than just being an ‘army wife’.
So, here are 6 inspirational army wives, who with hard work and determination have achieved something great in their life.
Subhashini Vasanth was never alien to all the struggles of an Army wife. Her husband, Colonel Vasanth Venugopal, a Commanding Officer of 9 Maratha Light Infantry, was deployed in the rugged and inaccessible terrain in Uri Sector. He laid down his life while fighting insurgents in Jammu and Kashmir on July 31, 2007.
After the death of her husband Subhashini was shattered. But instead of becoming weak, she emerged as a warrior. Three months later started the Vasanthratna Foundation for Arts (VRFA) in the memory of her husband. Her own experience as a martyr’s widow made her realize the importance of having a support system for the widows of armed force personnel.
Subhashini had soon realized that the financial support given by the government to the widows wasn’t enough. Strengthening themselves and stand on their own feet was a must. So, the five-member team of VRFA worked on the collaborations between the government policies and the martyred army personnel’s wives. This enabled the widows to claim their rights with dignity.
Today, more than 10 years since its inception, the VRFA community has about 120 wives and children on board, based out of Karnataka. In the coming months, the team is planning to extend their initiative to states like Andhra Pradesh, Assam, and Delhi.
Fauji wives are blessed with circumstances that strengthen their spines out of necessity and bring them in contact with all manner of situations and people. The best example of this is Engineer-turned-Artist Monishikha RoyChoudhury.
Since a very young age Monishikha was passionate about sketching and painting. After marriage due to support from her mother-in-law this hobby grew fonder in her. But after becoming pregnant she had to halted her artistry for some time. This made her realize that with watercolours she had the freedom of painting while being around her baby, without having to worry about any potentially toxic fumes. With this enthusiasm she began her creative journey. She taught herself how to paint and eventually started teaching in a painting class. In the end she got the confidence to exhibit her work in exhibitions.
Monishikha is a true inspiration because despite being a mother and a fauji wife, she still managed to have time for her passion for painting and came out as a very successful and empowered entrepreneur. In the end she has achieved something that makes her truly happy.
Swati Mahadik is a brave warrior of India. Her husband Colonel Santosh Mahadik was killed while battling terrorists in Kashmir’s Kupwara in 2015. Swathi was broken after the death of her husband but she didn’t give up. She knew her husband’s was not an easy job but he was bravehearted and now it was her duty to carry on her husband’s dream and serve the nation.
When Swati decided to join the Army, she was 37. At this age, it wasn’t an easy decision. But after her husband died fighting terrorism she had made up her mind that now it was her turn to wear the olive-green uniform. She is now a graduate from Chennai’s Officers’ Training Academy and wants to follow in Colonel Mahadik’s footsteps. She is indeed a true embodiment of the saying ‘never give up.’
Madhulika Rawat is the wife of current army Chief General Bipin Rawat. Apart from this, she is a self-made person who is running the Army Wives Welfare Association (AWWA), one of the largest voluntary organizations working towards social empowerment and skill building of spouses of army personnel.
AWWA also takes into consideration the welfare of army children and rehabilitation of war widows. One of its biggest initiative is Sena Jal, which is all about making and providing mineral water bottles for just Rs.6. It also works towards safeguarding human rights of army personnel and their families.
AWWA provides emotional and financial support to army widows and is constantly working for the social and economic empowerment of this section with the help of micro ventures like Project Aahwan, Parisharm Cell, Lunch Projects, Paper Recycling plant etc.
Army wives Payal Talwar and Priyanka Kumar are the leaders of the corporate training group Women In Need for Grander Success (WINGS). They started it five years ago to help talented women from remote areas find work. So far they have training women for companies like Jindal Steel, Punj Lloyd, HCL, TATA, Matrix and many others. They also train teachers for schools like the Army School, HD Goenka, Ryan International and Aster Public School.
All the content work for this initiative is done by army wives from across the country. WINGS is helping a lot of them who wanted to do something in their life and become self-empowered.
While a fauji is indeed a person to be applauded and respected, a fauji wife deserves an similar respect as well. Many army wives are working hard to make their own mark by contributing to the society. In spite of having a tough life, they choose to make best out of it. Hence, we can say that if there is an Army Men brigade then there is indeed an Army Wives’ brigade which manages to tap into their entrepreneurial skills, creating businesses that the women can pack up and take along with them on every posting.
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All wives deserve respect, not just fauji wives 🙂 ! The word “Just” in the article is so out of place…That one word slights the contribution of those who are, well, “just” wives…It again puts the premium on working outside home, as though that should be more desirable than building healthy homes and communities – unsung tasks that often come without benefits of fame, power and money.
Building a home and family is no mean task. Women empowerment isn’t only about working outside home…it is about building a mindset and support system where both genders are equally empowered to work inside and outside home. After all, someone’s got to take care of the family (if they decide to have one) beyond “just” earning money. When words like “just” are used to denote those who stay at home, it demeans the work of a home maker. That to me is neither feminism nor empowerment.
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