Every year, India celebrates Kargil Vijay Diwas on 26th July to observe India’s glorious victory over Pakistan in Kargil War 1999. On this occasion, student organization Pahal…An initiation, under the aegis of the division of student welfare, organized a series of Instagram live sessions, named “Vijay Gaatha 2.0”.

The first guest of this series was Major Vandana Sharma. She is a military veteran who enlightened our vertos and shared her experience. This session was hosted by Chanda Harshita and it was held on the official Instagram handle of DSR, LPU on 26th July 2021.

Maj. Vandana Sharma shared her lockdown experience and developed many hobbies and new areas of creativity. Being a part of the Indian army, she feels very proud to be part of this fraternity. She had three careers till now and believes that the character built in the forces, is a lot more than just a job. Joining Indian defense forces is not about earning bread but it is about passion and a way of life. Indian defense is diverse in all domains, starting from multiple generations working together from the same family.

Vijay Gatha 2.0 with Major Vandana Sharma

During childhood, her heroes were her grandfather and father who served in the forces. When she was a kid, she used to wear her father’s uniform and salute thinking that she would be joining forces one day. Her source of inspiration is Madam Curie and Amelia Earhart.

She gave her SSB in Allahabad and joined the forces in 1996 during her first attempt. She spent most of the time in extracurricular activities and has attended many schools due to the transfer in the military and even went to basketball nationals three times.

It is a great career for everyone with loads of facilities and experiences. Major Vandana even gave some pointers and motivation for people looking for a career in the armed forces.

Forces need you to be physically fit and mentally tough. Resilience, decision making, taking ownership of your decision, and not wasting your time in procrastination are some of the Officer qualities. These come with practice and can be achieved if we work on them. College students who want to join forces can inculcate few habits in their day-to-day life like taking care of exercise, running, communication, public speaking, etc. This helps in Service Selection Board (SSB) for better performance. Don’t be afraid of trying new things during your 20s.

When asked about the risks in the army, Major Vandana asserted that every profession has few risks associated with it. Many misconceptions and stereotypes are linked with the army but with time, awareness is being spread among people. She stated that the Kargil war changed her as a person and gave her a new outlook towards life. Nation-building does not depend on a particular profession but it is made by the contribution of everyone. Everyone needs to be patriotic and have empathy. During the war, the only people who lose are the family members, the parents, wife, husband, children, siblings, friends of the martyr are the ones at a loss and we need to be sensitive.

“Kargil Vijay Diwas is a day to remember gallant efforts and sacrifices. Lest we forget!”