Friday, March 6, 2009

Women cadets win laurels at AFMC

6 Mar 2009, 0458 hrs IST, Prasad Kulkarni, TNN
PUNE: Just two days before the International Women's Day, women officers in the passing out batch of the Armed Forces Medical College (AFMC) here on thursday won accolades by bagging 26 of the 43 awards.. In addition to this, woman cadet Harleen Chopra commanded the passing out parade for the first time in the history of the Indian armed forces, said AFMC spokesperson Lt Col Abhijeet Rudra. 

According to Lt Col Rudra, the women bagged awards, including gold, silver and bronze medals, in various categories because of their performance. Some of the cadets won certificate of merit awards for their academic performance. The awards they won also include the President's Gold Medal for the best all-round outgoing medical cadet of the year 2008, maj gen kewal krishna memorial gold medal, Maj Gen pp chowdhary rolling trophy and silver medal, Kalinga Trophy and the Rao Sahab Itto Krishnaji Chavan memorial gold medal. 

"Normally, women's performance is good, but this time, they did exceptionally well. The number of women showing a remarkable performance is very high this year," he said. 

A total of 103 medical graduates were commissioned into the Armed Forces Medical Services at the passing out parade. According to Lt Gen Shiv Kumar Sharma, Director and Commandant AFMC, out of 103 newly commissioned officers, 84 will be joining the army, four air force and 15 Navy. 

Harleen Chopra, who commanded the parade, joined the AFMC in 2004. She hails from Ludhiana in Punjab. "Normally it is considered that women are mentally and physically weaker. But that is not the case. They can perform well in any filed. Even in the armed forces," Chopra said. 

Chopra had topped in Ludhiana during her class 10 examination with 94.6 per cent marks. At the AFMC, she got distinction in pathology, microbiology and ophthalmology. She is also a member of the Students Scientific Society. She was adjudged the second Best speaker' at the Bombay Medical Congress in 2007. 

The President's Gold Medal was awarded to medical cadet Gurpreet Kaur. She will be doing her internship at the Military Hospital in Jalandhar. "I wanted to join the armed forces and my father wanted me to be a doctor. After getting selected in the AFMC and becoming an officer today, both these dreams have come true," said Kaur, who hails from Fazilka, a small village (Township) in Punjab. Kaur said she wants to work in the pediatric department. 

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