In a tribute to her martyred husband, Nitika Kaul Dhoundiyal, wife of Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal, who lost his life last February in an encounter with Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) terrorists in Jammu and Kashmir's Pulwama, is all set to join the Indian Army.
Speaking to The Logical Indian, Nitika said: "I will make Vibhu proud. Tales of his bravery will always inspire me and the generations to come."
35-year-old Major VS Dhaundiyal was martyred on February 17, 2019, just three days after the Pulwama terror attack in which 40 Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans lost their lives. The nation mourned the demise of the braveheart as his wife bid a final goodbye to her husband, just 10 months after their marriage.
Images of Nitika paying tribute to her husband at his funeral brought the entire nation together.
That cry of his wife... I love you Vibhu... Still tears the heart.— Sneha Singhvi (@snehasneha173) February 19, 2020
Remembering Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal on his martyrdom day who made supreme sacrifice in Pulwama Encounter during fighting against terrorists on 18th Feb 2019. #Indianarmy #Martyrs🙏🇮🇳 pic.twitter.com/XYE1zshadv
Major Dhaundiyal, who was from Dehradun was serving with the Rashtriya Rifles (RR) at the time of his martyrdom. He was awarded a posthumous Shaurya Chakra, India's third-highest peacetime gallantry award in August 2019.
#IndianArmy 18Feb2019. #OpPinglana(#Pulwama). The bravehearts fought valiantly, displayed exemplary courage; eliminated masterminds of cowardly #PulwamaAttack & made supreme sacrifice. The proud Nation remembers the bravehearts.@adgpi pic.twitter.com/Ya5Dmq29Xp— NorthernComd.IA (@NorthernComd_IA) February 18, 2020
"There is not even a single moment when we don't miss Vibhu. We still talk of him as he is still with us," Nitika said.
One year after his martyrdom, his wife, 28-year-old Nitika has now cleared the written and the interview of the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) and is waiting for the merit list before she is commissioned in the Army.
Nitika hails from Kashmir and was working with a multinational company in Noida. While she was staying with her parents in Delhi, she applied for the Short Service Commission (SSC) in the Army and subsequently cleared the written exam, as well as the Service Selection Board (SSB), seven months after Major Dhoundiyal's martyrdom.
"Sometimes it is important to explore and see what is in store for you. The decision to sit for the SSC examination happened gradually. Just to fill the form in September last year was a big decision. But I had decided that I want to walk on the similar path as my husband," Nitika told The Logical Indian.
"When I went to write the examination, I was thinking about how my husband would have gone through the same feeling. It made me feel closer to Vibhu," Nitika said.
Nitika shares that memories of her later husband have kept her going.
"My family and my in-laws have been extremely supportive. They have always motivated me to believe in myself and work towards what I want," Nitika said.
"I am not trying to make a point. I decided to join the army based on my wish. Not every martyr's wife has to. Everybody has a different way to deal with their loss," Nitika added.
Coincidentally, adding to the courageous decision of Nitika, the Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Centre to permit permanent commission for women officers in the Army, while adding that the officers will be now eligible for command postings. As many as 1,500 women Army personnel are likely to benefit from the order.