‘Always Wanted to be an Army Officer’: 5 Girls from UP Sainik School Now on Their Way to NDA sattaex.com

(From L to R) Hansi Malik, Sanskriti Sharma, Jyotsana Yadav, Vaishnavi Tripathi and Priyanka of the UP Sainik School in Lucknow, are five students out of a batch of 15 girls to have cracked the NDA examination. (Image: News18)

Five girls from a batch of 15 at the UP Sainik School in Lucknow have cracked the NDA exam, representing an impressive 18.5% of the total 27 seats for female cadets at the prestigious military training academy

For Vaishnavi Tripathi, models of army tanks, guns and fighter planes made up her stash of toys when she was a child and whenever anyone asked what she aspires to be, her answer was the same – army officer. Her childhood dream suffered a setback in 2019 when she lost her father, but her strong determination kept her going and she was able to gain admission to the UP Sainik School in Lucknow. Today, the 17-year-old is one of five girls from the school headed to the prestigious National Defence Academy in Khadakwasla near Pune.

Sainik schools prepare students academically, physically and mentally for entry into the commissioned ranks of the defence services. Tripathi, and four other girls – Hansi Malik, Priyanka, Sanskriti Sharma and Jyotsna Yadav – from the UP Sainik School have cleared the Service Selection Board (SSB), making it a rare feat.

Tripathi, who belongs to Lucknow, said she is thankful to her principal and the school for fulfilling her childhood dream. “I always wanted to become an army officer. But, after I lost my father, I was shaken to the core. I thought of giving up but when I got admission to the Sainik School, I started to dream again and I made it,” she said.

Another cadet, Priyanka, said, “The SSB module was especially designed for us. Experts were called to train us and we had special classes in the summer vacation for the entire batch of Class XII. We had a number of guides from time to time while regular tests and interviews helped us crack the exam.”

“Regularity is the key to success. Our efforts were constant, we worked hard even after the exams or in the summer vacation and never thought of relaxing. I think it’s our spontaneous efforts and the regularity that paid off,” she added.

Priyanka’s father, Subedar Vijay Kumar, is also in the Indian Army. He is posted in Leh while her mother, Krishna Devi, is a homemaker. For someone on the way to becoming a cadet at the most elite of all military training academies, it has been a total life-changing experience. Priyanka had stayed with her father for seven years when he was posted in Kapurthala and also Dehradun.

Out of the 27 seats for girls at the NDA, five have been bagged by the girls from UP Sainik School – this makes it an impressive 18.5 percent of the total selection. They are from a batch of 15 girl students at the school, which was the first among sainik schools to open admissions to women in 2018. This is the first time that five girls have cracked the exam. They are now awaiting the merit list, which is prepared based on the marks secured in the written exam and the SSB interview. The girls will also have to clear their Class XII board examination to go for their training at the NDA in July.

“It’s a proud moment for us. It’s for the first time we have such a high number of girls from a single school. Apart from five girls, five boys have also been selected, bringing laurels to the school,” said school principal Colonel Rajesh Raghav, who has been at the helm since 2021.

He said the result is the outcome of hard work put in by the students. “I compliment my academic faculty, staff for their unflinching support in achieving this feat. I am also grateful to senior UPSAINIANS and officials of the state government for reposing their faith in me. I am sure this result will improve with time and this elite educational institution will carve a niche in future and achieve its lost glory,” he added.

Col Raghav further said the students were identified through a rigorous in-house process to ascertain their potential. They were then motivated to work on areas like general knowledge, communication skills, reasoning with a thorough understanding of the selection mechanism.

He added that the five boys who have cleared the test are Sachin Gupta, Vatsal Gangwar, Bhavesh Saini, Ritik Kumar and Ajeet Pratap Singh.

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