Guwahati: Ipupu Mena had always been an active girl. Ever since childhood, she used to go for swimming at local rivers and rode farm ponies. These practical lessons came in handy, as she is now all set to become the first woman from Arunachal Pradesh’s Idu Mishmi community to join the Indian Army.
Topping the Short Service Commission Women (SSCW) exam, Mena has qualified for a stint at the Officers’ Training Academy in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. After 11 months of rigorous training, she will become a lieutenant with the Indian Army.
Mena’s father, Kotige Mena, said he never sent his daughter to any expensive school or international school, but to keep her on a par with international schools, he took her to all the local rivers to give her swimming lessons. And for horse riding, he said, he took her for pony rides at their farm.
The father also thanked the local doctors of the districts for giving the best healthcare to his daughter, even though they lacked modern medicines and facilities. “She had to go through a lot of medical tests to qualify, and she excelled in all these tests,” he said.
Mena was inspired by Major General GD Bakshi to join the army. As a schoolgirl, she heard him talking at a function and knew that very instant that she wanted to join the army.
She carried on the dream of joining the Indian Army even while pursuing MTech from the NIT in Jamshedpur.
She said even in times of failure she had not given up and with the support of her family and relatives, she topped the exam.e