A powerhouse of talent , Dr Seema Rao
Wouldn’t you be surprised if you found out that India’s first female Commando Trainer is also an author, doctor, scuba diver, film maker, firefighter and a model? Get ready to be introduced to the multifaceted Dr Seema Rao!
Dr Rao was the child of a freedom fighter and Professor, Ramakant Sinari. She was brought up in a patriotic environment which influenced her in a huge manner. She has a degree in conventional medicine and a MBA in crisis management.
This multitalented personality has bagged various awards- including the prestigious World Peace Award from the World Peace Congress, Malaysia by the Prime Minister of Malaysia for contribution to the Country in 2008. She also received the US President’s Volunteer Service Award, three Army Chief Citations and over thousands of felicitations from the Government of India.
Dr Seema Rao has contributed immensely in modernizing close quarter combat shooting and unarmed combat. She has served under special forces over the years including the Para Special Forces, Commando Wing, Corps battle schools, Academies Navy MARCOS marine Commandos, NSG Black Cat, Air Force CARUT, ITBP, Paramilitary and various Police units of 16 states.
This remarkable lady along with her husband Major Deepak Rao together have trained every Indian elite armed force without monetary compensation for over 20 years. The power couple have also started the Unarmed and Commando Combat Army (UCCA). They have written dozens of books like the first Encyclopedia of Close Combat Ops, A Comprehensive Analysis of World Terrorism to the Commando Manual of Unarmed Combat. These books have found place on the shelves of libraries of FBI, Interpol, United Nations Organisation and the SWAT police.
Among the many talents she has been bestowed with, it would be impossible not to mention that she excels in Martial arts. She is among the few who are authorized to teach Jeet Kune Do, the form of martial arts developed by Bruce Lee. She received training from Grandmaster Richard Bustillo– a student of Bruce Lee!
Her list of achievements is long. It includes a seventh- degree black belt in military martial arts, a medal from the army mountaineering institute HMI, along with a finalist spot in the Mrs. India World pageant. She is also a professional Scuba diver and has authored numerous books.
Her journey is an inspirational one. Her action packed life is one that many can only dream of! When asked why she left the medical field to become a Commando Trainer, she said that sometimes life can change its course and one must go with the flow. She explains,“My medical knowledge has helped me in my commando training – it helped me understand vital areas of the human body that you should target to severely maim or kill!”
This woman of substance can be called a Superwoman in her own right. Her journey has not been a cakewalk. She has made many sacrifices to make her dreams come true. She has been shot by insurgents while defending some of the riskiest places in India. She lost memory for a couple of days once after she suffered a head injury.
She prefers to wear combat boots instead of heels as she can’t afford to twist her ankle and go “out-of-action”! She has also produced and acted in India’s first mixed martial arts movie, “Hathapayi”- a film with a female protagonist. Hathapayi was the first Indian movie to display Jeet Kune Do.
In contemporary India, sex selective abortion and female infanticides are still prevalent. Fighting all odds, Dr Seema Rao has succeeded in winning accolades in a male dominated and patriarchal society. Along with the husband Dr Rao adopted a girl.
Some of the commandos under her training seemed displeased because they were being trained by a female commander. In an interview with Naaree, Seema said, “ Not only did I have to discipline them, but I also had to gain their confidence in my ability to teach. However, eventually ,I have always managed to earn the respect of commandos that I have trained.”
Dr Rao is has not only set out to accomplish great feats, but also succeeded to do so. With a plethora of achievements under her belt, she is a beacon of hope and inspiration to the women of India today. In a world where fighting “like a girl” is considered to be an insult, this wonder woman proves all stereotypes wrong. An inspiration for one and all, Dr Seema Rao has proved her mettle in every aspect of life.
Kudos to this amazing woman!
Written By : Divisha Mohan