As the nation celebrates 72 years of independence from the British Raj, Republic TV salutes the #HeroesOfIndia. On Wednesday, during an Independence day special, one such Indian woman’s contribution toward the nation was hailed.
In an exclusive interview with Republic TV’s Editor-In-Chief, Lieutenant Colonel Sophia Qureshi, the first woman officer to lead an army contingent was joined by her husband Major Tajuddin and son Sameer.
Lt. Col. Qureshi made history in 2016 as she became the first female officer to lead a training contingent of the Indian army at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) training exercise. While speaking to Republic TV about the same, she spoke about her experience as a part of the UN Peacekeeping forces and at the ASEAN training exercise. Lt. Col. Qureshi said she was picked to lead the contingent in the ASEAN exercise in 2016 due to her existing contribution to the UN peacekeeping forces.
When her son Sameer was asked about how he feels to be ‘an army kid’ he said, “I am very proud of my mother. I am very lucky that I am the son of Lieutenant Colonel Sophia Qureshi. As she is in the army I also want to become a fighter pilot and defend the nation with honor and pride.”
The first and only woman leader amongst 18 participating contingents, she led the Indian army contingent at ‘Exercise Force 18’. ‘Exercise Force 18’ was the largest ever foreign military exercise hosted by India in Pune from March 2, 2016, to March 8, 2016.
The ASEAN is a political and economic organisation of ten Southeast Asian countries. It was formed on August 8, 1967, by Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. In 2006, she served in the United Nations Peacekeeping Operation in the Democratic Republic Of Congo as a military observer and has been associated with PKOs for the last six years. Lt. Col. Qureshi, who is currently an officer from the Corps of Signals of the Indian Army, hails from Gujarat and has a degree in biochemistry.