Captain Aswathy Ganapath a woman and an officer
Captain Aswathy Ganapath is a daring young woman who has chosen to serve in the Indian Army. She is an engineer and a 2011 pass-out from the Officers Training Academy (OTA). We will just look into the interview given by herself and about her experience during the session.
The Indian Army
I am an electronics and communication engineer. After I completed my course at the Government Engineering College at Barton Hills I was selected by Infosys during the campus recruitment. During my training period at Infosys, I came across an advertisement in a paper calling for woman officers to the army. Stories and movies on the army had captured my imagination right from childhood. I went ahead and applied. There was no looking back after that.
Life at OTA
The first day I was given a black and white uniform. My long tresses were cut short. The first thing about OTA that was starkly different from what I was used to was the concept of ‘senior and junior'. I was part of a culture where you call your seniors in college and at work by name and you share an easy relationship. Here, hierarchy is very important. I was part of a batch of 60 women cadets. We were put through a tough training schedule. You are trained to become strong both mentally and physically. Initially I was not sure if I would be able to do the tasks that were assigned to us. I had no sports background and all this was new. But, with each passing day, my confidence grew and when you are able to do a task to perfection the feeling is great.
My first posting was at Ladakh; it is my current posting as well. The place is incredibly cold. I developed chilblains and infections. I head jawans who are much older than me. I am the only woman among more than a thousand men. There is not much of a social life up there. You are away from home and totally dedicated to the work that you do. I am part of the Military Engineering Service (MES) whose motto is “idea and innovation”. So this ensures that my technical appetite is also met.
Moment of pride
Initially my parents were apprehensive about my decision to join the army. I developed severe lung infection when I was at the OTA. When my parents came to see me and saw the state that I was in they were very unhappy. However, at the passing out ceremony from OTA, it is your parents who do the pepping. The pride on my parents' face as they pinned the stars on my uniform is my moment of greatest pride.
Woman amongst so many men
The fact that you are treated equally is the greatest motivating factor. In the army being a woman does not make you different or special.
A word to Message to other women aspirants to the army
Do not ever think that this is something that is beyond your reach. Your boundaries are what you set for yourself. Believe you can do it and you can. And trust me, this is a cool job.