There is no single area wherein women have not mounted their flag in. They equally want to be a part of everything in this world. No matter what part or stream it is, they have shown their potential in every field by standing up to that of men in the same token. While at the moment Indians are accepting this fact of women empowerment, India’s first batch of women fighter pilots, comprising of three cadets, Avani Chaturvedi, Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth will be inducted into the Indian Air Force on June 18 and are climbing new heights..! Yes, they are ready to create history as India’s first women fighter pilots. Let’s read how they made it to these heights.
Air Force Chief Arup Raha was speaking at a seminar on ‘Women in Armed Medical Corps‘ organised to mark International Women’s Day in New Delhi. He, on the occasion of International Women’s day, announced that three women, all in their early-20s, would be commissioned as officers into the fighter stream when they graduate with their male counterparts from the AFA on June 18. “They will be treated as fighter pilots rather than women pilots”, Arup Raha said. The seminar was also attended by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar.
The defence ministry had cleared the proposal of inducting women as fighter pilots in October last year. “Three women trainee officers have volunteered to be inducted in the combat role”, Raha said while introducing the women.
While thanking defence Minister Air Chief Marshal Raha said that, “We inducted women as pilots in 1991, but on only helicopter and transport (planes). I must thank the defence minister for having approved the IAF’s proposal to induct women as fighter pilots. Very soon…on June 18, the Air Force will get women fighter pilots”.
New Delhi: The three cadets who will be inducted in the Indian Air Force on June 18 as the first batch of women fighter pilots. PTI Photo (PTI3_8_2016_000351B)
Defence Minister Mr. Manohar Parrikar also praised Raha’s insistence for pushing forward the proposal to initiate women as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force. He said, “I congratulate you for initiating the seminar which will go a long way in deciding the role of women in uniform and not only in the Armed Medical Corps.
At present these three women trainees have volunteered to join the fighter stream. They are under the second phase of their training. Once they complete it, they will be equivalent with their male colleagues. There is no special treatment for the women cadets, who undergo the same rough training as the men.
All three women come from completely different backgrounds and even pursued other careers before signing up for the Air Force.
Flying Cadet Bhawana Kanth from Bihar quoted as, “It doesn’t feel very special just as yet. Our main focus is to undergo training and live up to the expectations of our instructors and excel in all examinations.” These are remarkable points she has said as going up to that heights is not something easy to achieve, along with their hard work many people have tried and have put in their efforts to help them to achieve it.
For Bhawana, this is the peak of her childhood dream something only boys were expected to aspire to be. It was not a task for women. But her parents never made her feel that she needed to think any different just because she is a girl. She says, “”It is not the right time for it now. It has always been the right time for women to become fighter pilots. I am only grateful that it, at least, happened now,”
For Mohana, as her father and grandfather both served in the Indian Air Force it is keeping the family legacy. She credits her instructor for inspiring her to become a fighter pilot.
Avani Chaturvedi from Madhya Pradesh says, “We have to compete with anyone else and we are not looking to be treated differently either.” The challenges at the training are exactly the same for both sexes, it’s no different for a women fighter pilot.
It was right on International Women’s Day that Indians took one most important step ahead in respecting women and giving them the equal rights. However, while these women are breaking barriers in a new era of women independence, there’s one news that still puts in despair on the joy. Women currently comprise merely 2.5% of the armed forces in India, working mostly in non-combat roles. Neighbouring country Pakistan has about 20 female fighter pilots. They began inducting women into combat roles in 2006.
For Bhawana Fortunately, her parents understood and supported her and helped her in fulfilling her dream. . Avani strongly believes in equality between the sexes and is glad the field she has chosen. Mohana is worked hard to fulfil the dreams of her family. Now these women naturally can’t wait to live their dreams and become the dream for several others hoping and working hard in the same direction. The three flying will shortly enter the history books by being the first three women cadets to be cleared to fly fighter aircraft in India. Congratulations and prestigious moment to India and all three of them Bhawana, Mohana and Avani for going strong, achieving their dreams and making all women proud..!!