Lt. General Madhuri Kanitkar: India’s senior most Three-Star woman Officer recounts her journey

Woman who has a strong heart, who is not going to be bogged down by difficulties and who knows how to rise, if there is a tough situation when she falls, she would get up and continue.

Lieutenant General Madhuri Kanitkar is India’s third woman to hold the three-star rank and currently the senior most. She was promoted in February 2020 to Lt. General rank. She has served in the Indian military for 37 years. She is also the first woman paediatrician to achieve the second-highest post in the force.

Speaking to The Quint, she told her first day she wore her uniform, on December 27, 1982 that she felt elevated and different. She pointed out three key elements for woman who wish to join the Indian army.

First she said, woman who has a strong heart, who is not going to be bogged down by difficulties and who knows how to rise, if there is a tough situation when she falls, she would get up and continue.

Secondly, she is also a woman, a mother, sister, a daughter, a wife.

And thirdly, a woman who is a professional but also has time for herself to keep the mind and body fit and follow her hobbies.

She told The Quint that people have opinion about a woman joining the army, that there must be something different for women, she said it is the ‘competence’ and the rest are myths. Either one is competent or not competent.

Lt. General Madhuri Kanitkar was promoted from Major General and was the former dean of Armed Forces Medical College Pune, posted to Headquarters, Integrated Defence Staff under the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

She has been posted under the CDS in augmenting key role in ensuring optimum utilisation of allocated budget, ushering in more synergy in procurement, training and operations of the services through joint planning and integration.

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