Attempting to promote “Nari Shakti”, the Indian Army has recruited four meritorious sports women into the Corps of Military Police as direct entry Hhavildars under it’s Mission Olympic Programme.
While Sakshi and Arundhati Choudhary have become recruit havildars owing to their feat in boxing, wrestlers Bhateri and Priyanka too will share the uniform with them. The sports talent hunting initiative is also linked to larger government move to open various branches of tri-services of Army, Air Force and Navy for women. The next Olympics will be held in France in 2024.
They have created history by becoming pioneers to represent the Indian Army in women category at National Championship in Boxing and Wrestling by participating in the 6th Elite Women National Boxing Championship 2022 (19 to 26 December 2022) at Bhopal and Senior National Wrestling Championship (21 to 23 December 2022) at Vishakhapatnam, said the Army in a statement. Both Arundhati and Sakshi are youth world boxing champions.
Promoting sports personnel
“The Indian Army has a long illustrious tradition of promoting and nurturing sports personnel and runs a well-structured programme named “Mission Olympics”. Earlier in the year, Summy, an international level sportswoman who excels in 400 metres athletics and Jasmine Lamboria, Commonwealth Games 2022 Bronze medalist in boxing were also recruited by the Indian Army,” the statement pointed out.
The armed forces athletes performance at Olympics has gone up. Almost half of the 28 Tokyo Olympic medals won by Indian contingent was from armed forces. In fact, the biggest track and field sports icon is javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, a Subedar from the Rajputana Rifles. And the sportsperson to fetch first Olympic medal in shooting was Major Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore.
Defence Ministry has named the Army Sports Institute stadium as “Neeraj Chopra Stadium” which is an ode to his tremendous international achievement.