Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat Foundation

Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat Foundation
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My life

1. I, Lieutenant Kiran Shekhawat (06778-B) hail from Jaipur, Rajasthan. I am 11th Naval Orientation Course and passed out on 04 Dec 2010. I then joined 05 SSC observer course in Observer School, INS Garuda in Jan 2011 for my sub courses and observer training. I was awarded wings on 10 Feb 2012. Thereafter I joined INAS 311 as staff observer as my first appointment, after completing two years in the squadron I got my second appointment in INAS 310. I am a fully operational Cat C observer with over 750 hours of flying.

2. Childhood. I was born on 01 May 1988 at Mumbai. I can’t Say that I was born with a golden spoon, yet my life was filled good fortune and luck. Although my life didn’t start off upright because I was born in a middle class family and a girl child at that time was considered a curse in Rajasthan. I didn’t have an understanding of what was happening around me however all had a similar expression of grief and misery as my mother told me. However my father was the happiest man, ignorant of all the cultural/ traditional obligations that the people around had to criticise about.
3. Being raised by parents who have followed a more or less traditional route wasn’t easy. It can be hard for parents to give their kids the freedom that comes from living in a country like the India, and it can be hard for us girls to understand and accept where our parents are coming from. Being a girl isn't easy, every day I felt a new pressure pressing down on my weary head. I loathed my existence for half of my life. Not that I was made to feel nothing but inferiority in my entire life, but because this so called humanity around me labelled girls 'weak' and a curse.
4. Schooling. My schooling was mostly from Kendriya Vidyalaya and I was a average kid. I come from a Naval background so I was lucky enough to have a little bit of permission when it comes to dressing up, education, friends etc. When I was around 10 yrs old my father was transferred to Japan. It was a fresh start of my life I must say. I stepped into a country which was cordial and very sociable. I studied in an international school wherein I met people from various parts of the world. It was like I was doing a short world tour every day. The best part was that my parents no longer had this worry of me getting involved or trapped in unsocial activities. I still don’t understand what it meant but I was glad to get total freedom with no questions asked.
5. Every morning would bring up something new to learn. I had the grip of the language within a month of us being there, so most of the times I used to be the interpreter for the neighbours and my parents. I had all the opportunities and amenities around for me to chase what I liked. However I chose to do everything which delighted me like playing volleyball, painting, singing, karate, playing instrument etc; I regret now for not choosing one because then I would have been a master of something. Nevertheless, I still can say that I didn’t lose out on anything and had lot of feathers to add to my golden hat.
5. Although we stayed in Japan for four years, I always say that I grew up in Japan, because these four years made me a better person as a whole and I realised the meaning of life. I started living my life as it came and just enjoyed every moment of it. This experience of a life time filled with adventure and friends taught me not to yelp about what you don’t have and day dream about things you wish to have but got out and strive to achieve it. I just had one aim in life that while I am considered the 'weaker' half of the human race. I will conquer the world and do so much more...while being a girl. One good habit that I got into soon after coming back was writing a diary. It helped me in having clear thoughts and end of the day I would realise my mistakes and help me not repeating them in the future. I completed my schooling from Visakhapatnam and thereby joined for my graduation in Andhra University. Somehow at this stage of life I just wanted to get a job and become independent.
6. First Job. Soon after my college, my eagerness to get a job got me into HSBC as customer service executive. I was just giving it a try and luck favoured me. It was a bank working in shifts for different parts of the world. I got into the US shift, hence I used to work night shifts of 09 hours. The working principles of the company was inspired from foreign standards therefore there was a good friendly and approachable culture. The best part was the month end prize distribution events wherein I got the opportunity to perform and show my talent. I was appreciated a lot for it and was the favourite of all. However that was not all, I won the best customer service executive for the year 2008 and was awarded a sum of Rs. 1 lakh for it. A huge amount for a young lady, although most of it was spent in shopping and buying gifts for family. I started loving my job a lot and treasured talking to customers in helping them solve their issues, and finally bring a smile on their faces. End of the day it was a total satisfying job. In 2009 the world’s market was effected by recession and there were lot of changes happening around. A lot of my peers were forced to quit their jobs as the company demanded.
7. It was during this time that one fine day my father asked me to fill forms for Airforce and Navy. Thinking that I would never get through and just for my father’s happiness I signed the forms. Unfortunately or fortunately somehow I could not appear for the SSB of Indian Airforce.

Life in Navy
8. In Dec 2009 I gave my SSB for Indian navy and got through. I was the only one calling up my parents and crying about it because I was upset about resigning HSBC. However, it was a moment of pride for my family as I was the first girl to get a government job and in defence force. Everyone was happy and cheerful but me. Pondering upon this thought, I realised that I must have done something countless that for the first time my father thanked me for being his daughter. It was at this time of my life that everyone in my family was proud of me and was not cursing me for being a girl.
9. Finally the day came when I stepped into the Indian Naval Academy which would help me in grooming and helping in becoming an Officer. The training was rather harsh however as time passed the responsibility of being an officer got into my head. From a cadet to passing out as an officer, the academy does transform a person completely.
10. Marriage. On 05 Feb 2013, my marriage got solemnised with Lt. Vivek Singh Chhoker. He is 09th Naval Orientation Course and a permanent commission executive officer presently posted in Indian Naval Academy as divisional officer. He will be commencing his long Gunnery course in Jun 2016 at INS Dhronacharya.

11. After completing 04 years in service I can say that this is where I was destined to be. Each day brings up new challenges and tasks. The responsibility that we handle for the safety and security of our nation is praise worthy and end of the day one is at peace that we are doing something which no ordinary man/ woman does. We are the special one chosen with a belief that we shall do our best at all times because we have got the potential and ability in us. And I shall do my best to keep up to this believe that the nation has in me. It is my endeavour to become a better and more responsible officer every day.

   Over a month ago