Saturday, September 18, 2010

Chennai Girl from OTA becomes first woman to raise sword of honour

Divya Ajithkumar of Chennai made all women proud by being the parade commander. She is the first lady cadet to receive the "sword of Honour" from the Army chief

Chennai woman officer to get top honour at OTA
Express News Service First Published : 17 Sep 2010
CHENNAI: Chennaiite Divya Ajithkumar will receive the Sword of Honour, the first-ever woman to snaffle the laurel, awarded to the best trainee at the Officers’ Training Academy, ever since they started commissioning lady officers in 1992.

Army Chief Gen V K Singh, who will review the passing out parade of 244 cadets at the OTA in Chennai on Saturday, would decorate her with the Sword of Honour.

Divya, who also claimed three gold medals in academics at OTA, said the award would prod her to reach more milestones. 'Receiving the award from Army chief himself is an honour. It should inspire me for bigger feats,' she told Express on Thursday.

The 21-year-old felt the strenuous training at the OTA had toughened her up, mentally and physically. 'We were not exempted from any routines during the 11 months of training and treated on par with our male counterparts. The training has enabled us to take up more responsibilities in future,' she said.

The youngest daughter of Ajithkumar and Beena, the Choolaimedu resident completed her schooling from Good Shepherd Convent and BCom from Stella Maris College. An elated Ajithkumar said: 'She was always an outdoor person. She is sincere in whatever she does.' Her parents never imposed their will on her. 'She sets her goal and we encourage her to achieve it. As I was mostly away, my wife groomed her,' he said.

Apart from academics, in which she has an impressive record, she represented her school basketball team at various levels.

She was also into athletics, such as marathon and discus throw. A Taekwon-Do (she started practicing at the age of two) black belt (second Dan), she is a national-level bronze medallist.

Besides martial arts, she learnt performing arts. Divya practised Bharatanatyam and Carnatic music, apart from being an accomplished drummer.

She had represented Tamil Nadu in the Republic Day Parade 2008 and had the rare double honour of being awarded both the All India Best Cadet and All India Best Parade Commander for leading the parade of NCC cadets. She got a commendation from the then Chief of Army Staff.
Chennai Woman Officer to get top honour at OTA
Slideshow: Passing out Parade OTA- Signs of Change

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