Indian Women Pilots
A few days back we got yet another milestone!
Yes for the very first time, the Indian Air Force (IAF) Fighter Squadron introduced 3 Women Pilots. All Hail to Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh!
But are you aware of the fact that this is not the very first time are women pilots fought for the country?
Back during the Kargil War, Indian women aviators were flying over the active war zones. It was long before IAF formally took them as Fighter Pilots.
Let me introduce you to the Gunjan Saxena and Srividya Rajan. These were the Indian women pilots who proved their mettle and were a part of Indo-Pak War in Kargil.
Ms. Saxena was born and brought up in a family which was committed to serving the nation. Her father & brother both were in Indian Army.
Ms. Saxena was amongst the top 25 young women candidates to form the First Batch of Indian Women Pilots. However, it was because of great dedication & hard work, she proved her mettle.
Earlier, many people doubted the thought of allowing women pilots into the Indian Air Force. Though, they were doubtful. It was because women pilots could manage the physically and mentally stressful conditions of war.
The women aviators had to often work extra hard. It was to prove that they were just as qualified for the battle zones as the men.
However, the two young women pilots soon got their chance with the breakout. That too of the Kargil war in 1999.
The two young women flew their small Cheetah helicopters through extremely hostile mountain territory. This was the place where the Pakistani army fired bullets. Also, anti-aircraft missiles were hit at Indian aircraft they could spot.
Furthermore, dodging these attacks in their unarmed choppers, these pilots air-dropped supplies to the troops. Also, they evacuated injured Indian Army soldiers and reported enemy positions to the Indian Army.
Flight Officer Gunjan Saxena was the first woman recipient of the Shaurya Vir Award. No matter, how brave they were, they were never allowed to engaged in direct action with the enemy. So, this is a gallantry award presented for valour, courageous action, or self-sacrifice.