A Youth Icon

Col B S Nagial (Retd)
Success is characteristically the result of conscious efforts and deliberate actions. While luck and chance may play a role in some instances, sustained success usually requires consistent hard work, focused attention, and a clear strategy.Successful individuals often set specific goals, develop a plan to achieve those goals, and then take persistent action towards them. They also typically possess qualities such as resilience, perseverance, discipline, and a willingness to learn from their mistakes.It’s important to note that success is not always a linear process, and setbacks and failures are a normal part of the journey. However, successful individuals often view these setbacks as opportunities to learn, grow, and ultimately adjust their strategies to achieve their goals.This insightful observation about success appropriately applies to Captain Mani Mehtab Dhaliwal, a lady officer serving in the Army Supply Corps of the Indian Army.
A robust ambition and steadfast pledge can support us in making our remotest dreams come true. Capt Dhaliwal’s achievements in different fields are sources of inspiration for youth in India. Her story embodies determination and hard work, highlighting that one can achieve what one wants despite many odds. She was born on 06 July 1998, in Ludhiana, Punjab, in a humble family consisting of parents, her elder sister, and a younger brother. Her mother retired as a sports director at GKU, Bhatinda, and her father retired as the Chief Auditor, Co-op Societies, Govt of India. She comes from a family of accomplished athletes, so swimming became a natural passion for her at the age of eight. Barely at nine, she participated in the National Triathlon event held at Raja Bhoj Lake, Bhopal, Bhopal, MP. This was a turning event in her life that sparked her passion; after that, she never looked back.
She got this inspiration from her mother, a National Athletics record holder and worked as a teacher.Capt Dhaliwal worked unremittingly and enhanced her swimming skills, earning a berth in the district and the state aquatic team. She participated in numerous district and state-level aquatic meets, winning over 150 medals. Even though Capt Dhaiwal set two state records in breaststroke, she didn’t let self-approbation come in her way to success. In contrast, she raised the bar for herself by her determination to make her mark in national aquatics; her hard work and dedication paid off when she won a silver and a bronze medal in the 2016 National Aquatic Meet.
Aquatics is a relatively strenuous activity, and since competitive swimming entails incessant and energetic practice, swimmer gets physically fatigued. It deplorably affects players’ mental health, and it is not easy to concentrate on their studies, but Capt Dhaliwal demonstrated astonishing academic capabilities also. She opted for the science stream, studied diligently, and scored 94.2 per cent in the Senior Secondary Examination, which is extraordinary. Thereafter she graduated with honours in Chemistry from Punjab University, Chandigarh, and scored first division.
There are many reasons why people feel inspired to join the Indian Army; here are a few:
* Patriotism and love for the country: Many people feel a deep sense of love and loyalty towards their country and see serving in the Indian Army as a way to give back and protect their nation.
* Adventure and challenge: The Indian Army offers a challenging and exciting career with travel, training, and adventure opportunities.
* Family tradition: In many families, serving in the Indian Army is a long-standing tradition, and young people feel inspired to carry on the legacy of their ancestors.
* A sense of purpose and fulfilment: For some, serving in the Indian Army is a way to find meaning and purpose in their lives by serving a greater cause and positively impacting the world.
* Career opportunities: The Indian Army offers a range of career opportunities, from engineering and technology to medicine and law, which can be attractive to people with various interests and skills.
Ultimately, the decision to join the Indian Army is profoundly personal and depends on each individual’s values, goals, and aspirations.Her late maternal grandfather, a retired Honorary Capt ex 17 Pune Horse, inspired her. After excelling in study and sports, she joined the Indian Army. She appeared in the Combined Defence Services (CDS) examination in 2020 and got All India Ranking-2, a significant achievement.
She passed out from the Officers Training Academy (OTA), Chennai. She was commissioned into Army Service Corps(ASC) on 29 May 2021, during training at OTA Bronze Medal for Cadet, scoring overall 3rd position in the order of merit. She also got OTA PT Medal Double Gold Medal in the 20 Km and 30 Km route march, respectively, Half Blue in Swimming and Cross Country, a Merit Card in Handball, a Marksmanship badge in all weapons and an Award of Excellence for contribution to the OTA journal.She added another feather to her cap when she scored ‘AI’grading in Young Officers Course at ASC Centre and College, Banglore. She excelled in all Sports and Battle Physical Efficiency Test (BPET) conducted at Corpse Battle School, Sarol. She has a fantastic talent.
An officer in the Indian Army embraces the illustrious heritage and eternal traditions, intermingledseamlessly with the up-to-date technological developments in armament, management, engineering and medical sciences. It offers an excellent opportunity to be part of the world’s finest Army, be trained to be an officer and imbibe values for life.
The Indian Army guarantees professional and personal development at every stage in the career path. Openings to outshine through various courses are plentiful, including opportunities to augment one’s educational qualification. The Army’s inbuilt adventure and extra-curricular activities ensure an overall development which is essential in the modern world. Art of War-Engineering-Medicine-Administration-Human Resource Development and Management; the Army teaches you all-the Indian Army moulds the officers into leaders proficient in leading from the front in any field. Joining the Indian Army is possible both after finishing school as well as after graduation.
Besides attractive pay and perks, the Indian Army offers you the best in Life Style, better than all other professions. Be it social interaction, the finest clubs, sports facilities, medical facilities and ample opportunities, the Indian Army has it all. In reality, you are paid to lead a healthy life in a healthy environment.
Facilities like subsidised housing, free medical for self and family, canteen facilities, group insurance cover, soft loans for house and vehicle and the sense of belonging to a family which cares for you are the perks of the Indian Army, which no other organisation provides.
Capt Mani Mehtab Dhaliwal has demonstrated that amongst societal norms and typecasts if the women of today identify and rejoice in their fortes in all walks of life and be their finest type, they can design an environment of empowerment and equality. Capt Dhaliwal has become a youth icon, and I am sure both boys and girls will get motivated to join the Indian Army. The talents shown by Capt Dhaliwal are par excellence, and she possesses all qualities to be a ‘Sword of Honour’ during the passing from OTA, Chennai.