Meet India's 1st woman to lead an all-male march on Republic Day 2019
New Delhi : Republic Day 2019 will showcase brave hearts and souls across India. This year Lieutenant Bhavana Kasturi will be the first-ever lady officer to lead an all male contingent in the Republic Day parade on January 26 in New Delhi. She will lead 144 jawans on Rajpath in front of the entire nation.
"When I give the command in front of the supreme commander of the armed forces and he takes my salute, that is the moment I have been dreaming of," says the young officer from Hyderabad who joined the Indian Army two-and-a-half years ago.
"I am excited about the crowds that come to watch the parade. A lot of girls will be very happy to see me," she tells media.
"No award can match this feeling and the responsibility bestowed upon me. This is the best prize I can ever get."
To inform, it is the second time that the officer will be marching down Rajpath. Nine years ago she was part of the National Cadet Corps marching contingent.
"I remember the entire Cabinet was standing up and clapping," she says over the telephone from New Delhi where the contingent has been practising from 5.30 am in the chilled January winter.
When asked about the reason that draws young women to the armed forces, she said "Every day, every moment is different in the army. The uniform brings you great respect and has to be worn with great responsibility. From jawans to everyone -- all are looking up to you,"
"We have no other life. The army is about service before self and the work exposes you to such fantastic things that I am running out of words. It is something you are going to cherish always."