Colonel Santosh Mahadik’s widow Swati all set to join Indian Army

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Satara, June 6 : Swati Mahadik (35), wife of late Colonel Santosh Mahadik (38) from 41 Rashtriya Rifles (Maratha Light Infantry) who  was martyred eight months ago fighting terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir, is set to join the Army.

The mother of two children had vowed at Mahadik’s pyre that she will join the Indian Army which was the first love of her husband. She had also said that her children, 11 year old daughter and 5 year old son, will follow the tradition by joining the Army.

Swati got coaching at Col (retd) Pradip Brahmankar’s Apex Careers classes in Pune. After six months of hard work and training, Swati has cleared all the rounds of the tough service selection board (SSB) test. Now she is waiting for the medical examinations. She will join the Officers Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai.

Earlier she worked as teacher at a Kendriya Vidyalaya.

A graduate from the Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU), she was given special age exemption by Minister of Defence Manohar Parrikar on the recommendation of Chief of Army Staff General Dalbir Singh.

For the mother of two, the journey that she has embarked on was not easy. Swati admitted her son and daughter in boarding schools in Panchgani and Dehradun, so that she could be at the training academy. Even to reach her goal, she had to compete with candidates 10 years younger to her.

Col Mahadik, a resident of Pogarwadi village in Satara district, made the supreme sacrifice in the true traditions of the Indian Army while conducting counter infiltration operation in Manigah Forest of Kupwara District of Jammu and Kashmir on November 17, 2015.

Forever leading by example, Colonel Mahadik was in the fore front of a search party pursuing terrorists in the inhospitable terrain when heavy accurate fire was brought down by the terrorists. Without caring for his personal safety, Col Santosh retaliated and rallied on. Despite being critically wounded, the Commanding Officer led his troops till he was evacuated. He, however succumbed to his grave injuries while being resuscitated.

Colonel Mahadik was posthumously awarded the Shaurya Chakra, the second-highest peacetime gallantry award given to the armed forces, at this year’s Republic Day.

Col Santosh Mahadik’s martyrdom is the epitome of exceptional selfless service to the Nation. Though he is no more with us, he continues to live on as an example of true professionalism and humanitarian excellence.