Two Mumbai youngsters become Indian Army officers

Proud moment for the city as Abhay Kadam, a Thane resident and son of an autorickshaw driver and Jonathan Devine-Jones, a Bandra local, become lieutenants

On Saturday, as Mumbaikars enjoyed their morning cup of tea, two youngsters from the city — one from Thane and the other from Bandra became lieutenants in the Indian Army.

Abhay Kadam with his father at their Savarkar Nagar residence in Thane (W). Pic/Sameer Markande
Abhay Kadam with his father at their Savarkar Nagar residence in Thane (W). Pic/Sameer Markande

Abhay Dilip Kadam (21), a resident of Savarkar Nagar, Thane West and Jonathan Devine Jones (25), a resident of Bandra West, became commissioned officers of the Indian Army after the Passing-Out-Parade (POP) at the Indian Military Academy (IMA) in Dehradun yesterday.

Jonathan Devine-Jones was a student of St Stanislaus High School before joining the IMA
Jonathan Devine-Jones was a student of St Stanislaus High School before joining the IMA

Humble beginnings
Kadam is the son of Dilip Kadam, an autorickshaw driver from Thane and credited his uncle for offering him monetary help to pursue his education. Jones grew up in Mumbai and was a student of the St Stanislaus High School in Bandra. Last year, mid-day reported how Jones had successfully sought admission in IMA.

At that time, he had said he wasn’t very academically inclined but was passionate about sports, especially boxing, basketball and football. His maternal grandfather, the late Brigadier (retd) DN Devine-Jones, was a boxer, sports administrator and a gold medallist footballer at the 1951 Asian Games in New Delhi where India bagged top honours in football. He was the young lad’s inspiration.

Post the parade, an elated Jones said, “I have hardly had any time to process my feelings. After the parade, I have been swamped with calls and paperwork. I think it will take a day for it to sink in.” His family was in Dehradun to watch him become a Lieutenant. Jones has been raised by a single parent, having lost his father at a young age.

Dilip Kadam and his wife too were in Dehradun to watch their son at the parade. “I am so overjoyed that I find it hard to express myself in words. The minute we saw Abhay, we thought our hearts would burst with happiness,” said Dilip.

Career course
The Passing-Out-Parade of the 135th Regular Course at the IMA in Dehradun was reviewed by the Afghanistan Army Chief General Sher Mohammad Karimi. Both Mumbai boys had joined the 135th Regular Course at IMA in 2013 for a one-and-a-half-year military training course.

They were trained for the Service Selection Board (SSB) interviews at Apex Careers in Pune by Lt Col (Retd) Pradeep Brahmankar, Cdr (Retd) PK Banerjee and Hrishikesh Apte. Col Brahmankar told sunday mid-day, “It was these boys’ earnest desire to get into the Indian army that set them apart from the rest.

I hope Abhay and Jonathan’s achievement inspires Mumbai’s youth to pursue a career in the armed forces.” Jones was, in fact, vocal about an average Mumbaikar’s ignorance about the armed forces. “When I told people that I intend to join the army, the common response was, “Marne waala hai (you are going to die),” he laughed. Both boys have conquered attitudes and adversity to realise their dream.

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