Widow of Major from Mumbai to join Army, calls it tribute to him
The single-minded determination of Virar resident Gauri Mahadik, the 32-year-old widow of Major Prasad Mahadik, will soon see her join the Indian Army. Gauri said joining the Army is her way of paying tribute to her husband, who was killed in a fire at his shelter on the Indo-China border in Tawang, Arunachal Pradesh, in December 2017.
Gauri will join the Army next year as a lieutenant, after she completes her training at the Officers’ Training Academy (OTA) in Chennai. “I will be commissioned as a lieutenant in the non-technical category for war widows,” she said.
One of the 16 candidates, who appeared for the Service Selection Board (SSB) examinations at Bhopal between November 30 and December 4, 2018, Gauri topped the exam and qualified for training at OTA.
She will now undergo 49 weeks of training from April and will be inducted into the Army in March 2020.
“The SSB exam was held for widows of defence personnel, who died in harness. Around 16 candidates qualified from three centres — Bangalore, Bhopal and Allahabad,” said Gauri.
“We were exempted from answering a written exam conducted by the Combined Defence Services (CDS) and directly appeared for the oral test at Bhopal.”
The journey, for Gauri, also came with a “happy coincidence”.
“At the exam centre in Bhopal, I got allotted the same chest number  that my husband was allotted before his selection to the OTA,” she said.
Gauri, a qualified company secretary and a lawyer, had married Prasad in 2015 and currently resides with her in-laws in Virar. After her husband was martyred, she quit her job at a law firm in Worli to prepare for the examinations to join the Army.
“Prasad had joined the Indian Army in March 2012, after training at the OTA in Chennai. He was one of the finest officers posted in the 7th battalion of the Bihar Regiment,” said Gauri. His colleagues remember him as a dedicated officer, with a penchant for music and sports, she added.