Proudly carrying the name of his Border Security Force (BSF) martyr father, 22-year-old Kshitij Sharma of Kota has become an army officer after successfully passing out from the Indian Military Academy (IMA).
When Kshitij Sharma was just 9 months old, his father named Subhash Sharma, a deputy commandant in BSF was martyred in Jammu and Kashmir on April 16, 1996. He was posthumously awarded President’s Police Medal for gallantry in 1997.
However, his wife, Babita Sharma, made up her mind to send their son to the Indian Army one day. “I never considered myself to be a widow. My husband was a martyr and they are immortal, so I decided to send my son to the Indian Army to keep his father’s legacy alive,” she said.
Kshitij, who was pretty good at basketball and the skipper at Saint Paul’s School in Kota, took the National Defence Academy (NDA) entrance examination in 2014 and came through with flying colours as he secured the All India Rank 13.
“After joining the NDA, Kshitij never looked back. He joined the IMA after passing out of NDA in 2017. After completing one year at IMA, Kshitij became a Lieutenant during the passing out parade at IMA, Dehradun, recently,” said 50-year-old Babita.
Kshitij, who was declared ‘Mr IMA’ and Battalion Cadet Adjutant, also served as the skipper of the basketball team at IMA.
“When he took the NDA exam, there were only 200 seats. There were 5 lakh aspirants, but he still managed to get AIR 13,” said the proud mother, adding that the 22-year-old also became the Cadet Sergeant Major (CSM) at National Defence Academy.
“Kshitij was not ready to take part in the army drill (parade) for the fear of damaging his knees. I spoke to him and he agreed and later his company, Charlie, won in the drill competition,” she said. Kshitij also led the passing out parade at IMA.
Talking about his motivation to join the army, Kshitij said, “I joined Indian army as my grandfather (Babita’s father) used to tell me stories of my father’s courage. He also told me stories of heroes such as Maharana Pratap, Subhash Chandra Bose and Bhagat Singh.”
Kshitij will be looking forward to joining his first posting at 1 Armed Signal Batallion at Patiala in Punjab.