Fazilka, December 17
"My love for uniform and patriotism inspired me to join the Indian Army," said the newly-commissioned officer Sandhya Kataria (23) of Fazilka. A commissioned officer, who joined as a lieutenant and was promoted as captain three weeks after joining her first assignment, Sandhya has brought laurels to this border town.
A student of the local Army school, Sandhya got attracted to the olive green uniform. She later graduated as a Bachelor of Technology from the Rajiv Gandhi Technical University, Indore.
"In the university, during the final year, Army officers came to inspire the students to join the Army. This was a turning point in my life as I got the right opportunity at an appropriate time to fulfill my desire," said Sandhya. "Besides, my maternal aunt Navneet, a teacher at Central School, Bathinda, also inspired me to sit in the qualifying test," she added.
Sandhya was selected after clearing the test conducted by the Services Selection Board, Bhopal, on July 3 last year. She completed her one-year training at the Officers Training Academy, Chennai.
She was commissioned as an officer on September 17 this year after the passing out parade. She was posted as a Lieutenant in Electronic and Mechanical Engineering at Jodhpur and got the promotion as captain on account of her technical qualifications.
The daughter of Rajinder Kumar Kataria, a pharmacist and Ankur, a teacher, Sandhya loves studying the lives of great people. Kishore Chand Punchhi, her grand-father, said, "My attempt to join the Indian army in 1964 failed but I have realized my dream with my grand-daughter joining the Army."