In an effort to pay tribute to her late husband, Army Major Prasad Mahadik, who was killed in a fire near the Indo-China border in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh, Virar resident Gauri Mahadik, 33, has joined the Indian Army as a lieutenant after graduating from the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA), Chennai on Saturday.

Gauri, who lives in Gokul Township in Virar (West), cleared the tests for the Service Selection Board (SSB) and joined the OTA in April 2019 for the 49-week course. She will now be posted in the non-technical category for war widows.

Major Mahadik died on December 30, 2017, when his shelter caught fire at a post near the Indo-China border in Tawang district, Arunachal Pradesh. “My martyred husband was in the infantry. As of now, I cannot join combat forces, but if tomorrow I am given the chance by the Indian Army, I would definitely like to join the combat forces,” said Gauri. “Wearing the green uniform and stars of my husband which shine a billion times brighter than real stars,” she added.

Gauri married Major Prasad in 2014 and is a lawyer by profession. “I appeared for the SSB for widows of defence personnel who died in harness in Bhopal from November 30 to December 4, 2018,” she said. There were 16 candidates [war widows] who qualified from the three centres in Bhopal, Allahabad, and Bengaluru, where we were selected for the direct entrance test. I topped the exam and thus got a chance to be trained at OTA, Chennai.”