Sky is not the Limit for these Indian women Pilots!Sep 24, 2018
Flying aircraft was considered to be a very unconventional and risky profession for women in India a few decades ago. Many who dreamt of becoming pilots had to succumb to societal pressures. However, it is a different story today. With union-mandated equal pay, safe workspaces and a rapidly growing aviation sector, women pilots can pursue their careers with a lot more support and ease.
Currently, India has the highest percentage of female pilots in the world. The number has risen to 12% and is expected to grow further.
The women-friendly policies of many airlines with respect to childcare and pregnancy have wiped out the majority of the concerns that were considered as obstacles that stood in the way of women who wanted to pursue a career as pilots.
As we look forward with hope, let us read about some women who have broken the glass ceilings in the aviation sector and served as inspiration for women in India.
Avani is one of the first women fighter pilots to serve the Indian Air Force. Along with Mohana Singh and Bhawana Kanth, she made history in 2016 by proving that gender is just a tag. Hailing from a small town in Madhya Pradesh, Avani sure is an inspiration to many girls across the country. This year, she became the first Indian woman pilot to fly the MiG-21 solo. This dashing combat pilot wants to fly the best of fighter planes and become an asset to the Air Force.
25-year-old Bhawana Kanth was one of the three women fighter pilots commissioned by the Defence Minister to the Indian Air Force. She is a multi-talented person who has formerly recruited by Tata Consultancy Services after passing out from college. She flew the Mig-21 solo this year and made the country take notice of her achievements. She was born in Bihar and is supported by a proud family in all her endeavours.
Anny Divya is a woman pilot who is known to be the world’s youngest woman commander to fly a Boeing 777. She nurtured flying dreams since her childhood and enrolled for training at the age of 17 at the Indira Gandhi Rashtriya Uran Akademi in Uttar Pradesh. As soon as she completed her training she started working with Air India at the age of 19. She has been an exemplary pilot and has made women and Indians proud.
A captain on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner, Nivedita has many firsts to her credit. Born in 1963, she was the youngest woman pilot to command a commercial jet aircraft in 1990. She was part of the first all-women flight crew in India and also led the all-women flight crew of the Boeing flight on the Hyderabad-Vishakhapatnam route.
She was also India's first woman check-pilot on the Airbus A300. She has inspired many women to dream about a career as a pilot.
Saarah Hameed Ahmed
Saarah is an example of determination and courage and is one of the few woman Muslim pilots in India. Growing up in a conservative family, her parents had initially apprehensive about her career aspirations but eventually convinced. She trained at a flight training school in Florida and later converted her license to Indian certification. She then became a commercial pilot for SpiceJet. She is an inspiration to many women in her community to go after their dreams.