Divya Ajith Kumar, 21, received the Sword of Honor on September 19, 2010, for exceptional performance during 49 weeks of training.
“She has come out on top in the overall merit list. She has outsmarted all others,” said Officer Traning Academy spokesman Major R. K. Choudhary. “The curriculum consists of 25 subjects. It includes academics, weapons training, tests of endurance, obstacles, drill, and cross-country.”
Divya, the daughter of a Chennai* businessman, planned on becoming a civil servant (someone who works for the Indian government). Her plans changed when she joined the National Cadet Corps.
Divya’s father, Ajith Kumar, is among her supporters.
“She won many awards in the academy during the course. But she didn’t expect to win the Sword of Honor. It is a nice feeling,” he said.
The Indian Army started recruiting female officers in 1992. But even though Divya received the Sword of Honor, women are still not allowed to participate in combat. Instead, they can go into fields like engineering, the army education corps, signals and intelligence when their training is done.
What do you think of Divya receiving the highest honor that cadets can get, but still not being able to serve in combat?
Do you think that a woman receiving this award could lead to women also being admitted to combat units? Do you think women should be allowed to fight in the army?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below!
New Moon Intern
*Cadet – A student at a military school who is training to be an officer.
*Chennai – the capital city of the Indian state of Tabil Nadu