Meera, first Badaga woman to become naval officer
OOTY: R. Meera, hailing from Achanakal village near here, has become the first woman naval officer from Badagas, the single largest ethnic community in the Nilgiris. The villagers celebrated her rare achievement when she arrived at her native village on Sunday.
Meera’s father M. Ravindranath alias Sundar has worked in the army hospital wing as a technical assistant. Meera, who started her education at the Kendra Vidyalaya in Aruvankadu near here, went on to study in the Kendra Vidyalayas at Pune, Delhi and Jammu before joining engineering at Hindustan Engineering College, Coimbatore. After completing her BE, her ambition for a career in the Indian armed forces made her take the Combined Defence Services examination.
After clearing the examination, she also sailed through the interview at the staff selection board and was selected to join the Indian Navy.
After completing 22 weeks of training, she passed out of the Indian Naval Academy in Ezhimala, Kerala, to become a sub-lieutenant to join duty in the naval armament inspectorate cadre in Kochi. She has thus become the first woman naval officer from the Badaga community.
Meera said her life with her parents in north India helped her learn Hindi well and the army environment in which she lived gave her the confidence to try her luck in the armed forces.
“Now, I feel proud. There are ample job opportunities for women in the armed forces. Women need to develop confidence and courage to take up a career in the armed forces and serve the nation. To be in the defence services itself is a special pride. They should also develop a strong will to achieve their goals,’’ she added.