Punita Arora: The First-Ever Woman Lieutenant General of the Indian Army

Aditi Premjit 8th September, 2020

First Woman General Lieutenant of Indian Army (Source: Unnati Silks)


In the current progressive and fast developing world, women have earned their much-longed status even though at a gradual pace. There is one such woman who made history by breaking all odds. She became the first-ever woman lieutenant-general of the Indian Army. She is none other than Punita Arora.


Arora is the first woman ever to secure the second-highest rank of Lieutenant General in the Indian Armed Forces. Not just that, she was also the first woman officer to command the Armed Forces Medical College in 2004 and the first woman Vice-Admiral of the Indian Navy in 2005.


Punita Arora was born in a Punjabi family from Bhatinda. She completed her studies from the Armed Forces Medical College, Pune and went on to join the Indian Army. She is an officer who inspires girls all over our nation to dream big and win big. She has won 15 awards until now, in her field for her sheer dedication and love towards her job. ParamVishist Seva Medal and Sena Medal are also among her several accolades. The Vishisht Seva Medal was awarded to her by the President of India for her efficient and prompt treatment that she provided to the victims of the Kalu Chak terrorist attack, while she was commanding the Military Hospital in Jammu.


Punita’s family came to India during the partition with just a blanket and a cup. Although she faced several hardships at a young age, she was very determined to become a doctor and so she did. Not only this, but she also made it to history.


Punita Arora believes in the importance of having a nuclear family and its unity. Her husband used to work as a dermatologist in the Indian Army and their son followed his steps. A senior official had once told her, “Punita, become the change. Otherwise, women will never be accepted in the armed forces”. Keeping this very advice in mind she took it upon herself to strive for excellence and the rest is history.


(Sources: Defencedirecteducation.com, TEDx Punita Arora, Femina, UnnatiSilks)

Edited by Swikruti Kar

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