Sainik Schools play a major role in training Army personnel, which tends to be dominated by boys, but that custom is set to change. Most of such institutes come under the Ministry of Defence, while some under the respective State Government. For admissions to class 9, even Sainik Schools that do not come under the Ministry follow a long-drawn out procedure that includes a written exam and a personal interview.
One such Sainik School situated in Lucknow has provided class 9 admissions for 15 girls for the 2018-19 academic year, thereby becoming the first to do so ever among all Indian Sainik Schools. These girl cadets were chosen by the former UP Sainik School from a probable 2500 applicants who appeared for the entrance exam. The principal of the now Lucknow Sainik School, Col. Amit Chatterjee, said that girl cadets will have to undergo physical training drills each day prior to the assembly time.
“They feel very proud to be part of the institution. They aspire to become famous one day in life,” said the Principal of the Sainik School, when he was asked about how new girl cadets feel about the hitherto unfamiliar environment.
Lt. Col. Uday Pratap Singh, who is the Registrar of Lucknow Sainik School, said, “The existing infrastructure of the school has been improved for the 15 girl students using our own resources. One of the boys hostel has been vacated to accommodate the girls.” He also added that Sainik Schools elsewhere in India should follow this example.
UP Sainik School was the first institute of its kind to have come into existence 58 years ago. Now known as Lucknow Sainik School, it has been providing a platform for young cadets for all these years. “After this, 27 such Sainik Schools were established in other parts of the country. In its journey of more than 57 years, the school has the honour of producing more than 1,000 military officers, and the first Sainik school in the country whose student was rewarded Paran Vir Chakra (Manoj Pandey),” said Lt. Col. Singh.
The staff of Lucknow Sainik School feels that the move to make girls a part of the academics would open a new chapter in the history of the institution that does not come under the Defence Ministry of India.