Soldiers martyred in the line of duty sacrifice their lives for the nation, while also leaving behind family members who have to live with their loss. 

But, these wives of martyred soldiers made the decision to overcome their personal tragedy, and pay a tribute to their loved ones, by serving the nation: 

1. Nitika Kaul

Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was martyred while fighting the terrorists, during the Pulwama attack in 2019, and was awarded the Shaurya Chakra (posthumously). And on May 29th, 2021, his wife, Nitika Kaul, joined the Indian Army as a Lieutenant, after passing out from the Officer’s Training Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu.


2. Shalini Singh

Shalini Singh became a single mother of a two-year-old and an army widow at the age of 23 when Major Avinash Singh Bhadauria (29) attained martyrdom in 2001, after single-handedly killing 4 terrorists in an altercation in Kashmir. On September 7, 2002, within a year of her husband’s death, Shalini became a commissioned officer with the Indian Army. After retiring, she went to become a motivational speaker and life coach. 

The Better India

3. Garima Abrol

In 2019, just 4 years after their marriage, Squadron Leader Samir Abrol lost his life when flying an IAF Mirage 2000 TI aircraft for test sortie. A year later, in December 2020, Garima Abrol graduated from the Air Force Academy and joined IAF as a Flying Officer. 

4. Swati Mahadik

In 2015, Col. Santosh Mahadik attained martyrdom in his encounter with terrorists at Kupwara. His wife, Swati Mahadik, a mother of two young kids, decided to fulfill his wish to not wear white but dorn olive instead. Thus, at the age of 37, she underwent 11 months of grueling training and was commissioned as a Lieutenant in the Army.

5. Sushmita Pandey

When Major Neeraj Pandey died due to a landslide during Operation Rhino, the family left grieving over his death included his 3-year-old son, Rudrash Pandey. But, in 2018, a week before Major Pandey’s second martyrdom anniversary, his wife, Sushmita Pandey, joined the Indian Army as a Lieutenant, in the same corps as her late husband. 

6. Neeta Deswal

In 2016, during a counter-insurgency operation, Major Amit Deswal laid down his life for the nation. Two years later, in 2018, his wife and mother to a 5-year-old, Neeta Deswal, joined the Indian Army in what she referred to as a “tribute” to her late husband. 

7. Neeru Sambyal

A mere three years after Neeru Sambyal married rifleman Raveender Singh, she lost him. But with thoughts of her young daughter, and her husband’s sacrifice, Neeru Sambyal decided to join the Indian Army, and underwent training for the same. In 2018, she was commissioned as a Lieutenant. 

8. Kanika Rane

At the age of 30, Kanika Rane was commissioned as a Lieutenant with the Indian Army, two years after her husband, Major Kaustubh, was martyred in an encounter with terrorists. Mother to a 4-year-old, Kanika cleared the Service Selection Board (SSB) exam in her first attempt, and then underwent 49 weeks of training, before becoming an Indian Army officer. 

9. Gauri Mahadik

Three years after she lost her husband, Major Prasad Mahadik, Gauri Mahadik joined the Indian Army as a Lieutenant in March 2020. A law graduate and company secretary, Gauri quit her job to appear for the SSB exams. 

SSB Crack

10. Sangeeta Mall

A teacher, Sangeeta married rifleman Shishir Mall in 2013. But just two years after their marriage, Shishir Mall was martyred in a gun battle in J&K. Sangeeta then quit her job and decided to serve the nation, just like her late husband. 

11. Nidhi Mishra Dubey

Widow of Naik Mukesh Dubey, Nidhi Mishra Duney’s journey to becoming an officer with the Indian Army was certainly not easy. After failing the SSB exam five times, she finally cleared the exam and underwent grueling training, before joining the Army in 2017. 

India Today (ANI)

12. Priya Semwal

Naik Semwal was martyred during a counter-insurgency operation in Tawang, leaving behind a young daughter and a grieving widow. But Priya chose to face this tragedy head-on and scripted history when she became an officer. Because it was the first time that the wife of a Non-Commissioned Officer (NCO) became an officer. 

Indian Youth

13. Jyoti Nainwal

Three years after a brave-heart of India, Naik Deepak Nainwal was martyred fighting terrorists in Kashmir, his wife Jyoti Nainwal joined the Indian Army. She became a lieutenant in the Indian Army after passing out of the Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai. She is a proud wife and a mother of two, who was cheered on by her children for deciding to take this step. 

True bravehearts, indeed!