DEHRADUN: "I love you Vibhu!" said Lieutenant Nitika Kaul, wife of martyr Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhaundiyal, after a ceremony at the Officers Training Academy in Chennai. Chief of the Army's Northern Command Lt Gen YK Joshi placed stars on Kaul’s shoulders Saturday.
"He will always be a part of my life. I feel he is around looking at me, wishing me luck for having made it to the Army," says Lt Kaul.
The couple was married in April 2018 and Maj Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal was due to return home in April 2019 to celebrate his first marriage anniversary. On February 14, 2019, Major Dhoundiyal was among four soldiers who laid their life fighting terrorists in Pulwama. He was awarded Shaurya Chakra (posthumously) for his sacrifice for the nation.
#MajVibhutiShankarDhoundiyal, made the Supreme Sacrifice at #Pulwama in 2019, was awarded SC (P). Today his wife @Nitikakaul dons #IndianArmy uniform; paying him a befitting tribute. A proud moment for her as Lt Gen Y K Joshi, #ArmyCdrNC himself pips the Stars on her shoulders! pic.twitter.com/ovoRDyybTs— PRO Udhampur, Ministry of Defence (@proudhampur) May 29, 2021
Lt Kaul has worked as a business analyst for nearly three years but left the job to join the Indian Army. She cleared the Services Selection Board in February 2020 and received her letter in March 2020. "The day I stepped inside the academy, I imagined he too must have traversed the same path. My journey has just started… I would like to thank everyone who has kept their faith in me -- my mother-in-law, my mother, family and others," said Kaul.
Tears rolled down the face of Saroj Dhuandiyal, mother of Major Dhaundiyal, as her daughter-in-law told her about the ceremony. Vaishnavi, Nitika’s sister-in-law, said, "Nitika picked herself quickly and decided to follow in Vibhuti’s footsteps. We are more than happy today." The families of the officers were not allowed to attend the ceremony due to the Covid pandemic.
'Don’t give up'
To women who aspire to achieve their goals in life, Kaul said: "Keep faith in yourself. There is absolutely nothing that can stop you from achieving what you have aimed at... Don’t give up. Stand up again."