Sky No Longer The Limit!
With much celebrations, India welcomed the news about the Ministry of Defence opening the doors to women fighter pilots. In a statement, the Minister of Defence, Rajnath Singh, stated that the ministry has decided to convert the experimental scheme for induction of women fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force into a permanent scheme.
With the decks being cleared for more women flying fighter jets, India is now set to welcome its first-ever Muslim woman as a fighter pilot. This news comes as a positive step towards combating the stereotypical image that continues to be propagated against the minority community in the country and also inspires many more to step up as the sky is no longer the limit.
Breaking Past Myths And Odds
Sania Mirza, a National Defence Academy (NDA) aspirant from Uttar Pradesh (UP), has been selected to become the country’s first Muslim girl and the state’s first Indian Air Force (IAF) pilot. The daughter of a TV mechanic from Mirzapur, Sania, had completed most of her schooling at a humble Hindi medium school back in her village. She was the district topper in her 12th UP Board and had been moving past several odds to make it to her dream. Breaking the myth that proficiency in the English language is a must to be selected for the coveted league, she conveyed that Hindi medium students, too, can find success if they are determined.
She herself had prepared day and night with determination at the Centurion Defense Academy, whom she largely credits for enabling her to find her space in the IAF. She had initially failed to grab a seat on her first attempt but bagged it on her second try. A total of 400 seats were there in the NDA 2022 Examination for male and female candidates. Of these, 19 seats were for women, and two were reserved for female fighter pilots. A report by NDTV stated that Sania managed to secure her place as one of the two worthy candidates who would don the uniform of a fighter pilot for the country.
An Inspiration To Young Girls
Having secured the 149th rank, Sania will be joining the NDA, Khadakwasla, in Pune on December 27. The Jasovar village resident has brought laurels to the district and the country as a whole. Sania’s mother, Tabassum Mirza, conveyed that the family feels incredibly proud of their daughter’s achievement and would hopefully inspire every girl in the village to follow their dreams. Her father, Shahid Ali, noted the same and said that the country’s first fighter pilot Avani Chaturvedi was Sania’s inspiration, and today she will become a similar inspiration to many women.