"Fascinated with simplifying the complicated and writing on the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Also, a hodophile."
Major General Madhuri Kanitkar was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-General on Saturday, February 29.
Lt Gen Kanitkar who has served in the Indian Army for 37 years, achieved the rare feat of becoming the third woman officer in the Indian Army and first woman paediatrician to achieve the second-highest post in the force.
She took charge as Deputy Chief, Integrated Defence Staff (DCIDS), Medical (under the Chief of Defence Staff) in New Delhi.
"This organisation is fair, transparent, respected and safe for a woman where she is given opportunities to grow. If there is one message I would like to share, it is to enjoy every day in uniform with childlike enthusiasm and challenge yourself to achieve the impossible. Never give up, just give back! To every woman in uniform, I can say 'half the world is yours to take, but the full is yours to give'. So, always give your best," Lt Gen Kanitkar told The Indian Express.
Interestingly, this will be the first time in the history of Indian armed forces that a couple will hold the 3-star rank of Lieutenant General. Kanitkar and her husband Rajiv, also a Lieutenant General will be the first couple in the armed forces to bag this rank.
Adding another feather to her cap, Kanitkar is the only doctor on the Prime Minister's Science, Technology and Innovation Advisory Council (PM-STIAC).
Padmavathy Bandopadhyay was the second woman to hold the second-highest title in the India Army.
Punita Arora, who was a surgeon vice-admiral and a former 3-star flag officer of the Indian Navy and the Indian Army, was the first woman to hold the post of Lieutenant General.
On February 17, the Supreme Court in its landmark judgement had ordered the government to grant Permanent Commission to the Women Short Service Commission officers at par with their male counterparts, regardless of their years of service.
While hearing the petition, the Apex Court also asserted that "women officers could be given command posts in the Army" if the government changes its mindset.
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