NEW DELHI: Indian Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Arup Raha on Tuesday announced that the IAF will get its first woman fighter pilot on June 18, this year.
Three IAF cadets, Bhawna Kant, Avni Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh, are being trained at the Air Force Academy near Hyderabad for the job.
“As of now, three women trainees have volunteered to join the fighter stream. They are under the second phase of their training. Once they complete their training and are at par with their male colleagues, the passing out parade is scheduled on June 18,” Raha said. Asserting that all three trainees would get commissioned on that day and become the first women officers in the fighter stream, Raha said that subsequently they would go on to advanced jet training, and later proceed to regular squads.
On the occasion of Women’s Day, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar with Raha remembered women who left an impact on their lives. Parrikar said his mother gave him several lessons when he was a child, and though it was difficult to comprehend them at that age, he realised later in life how very useful they were.
“I still remember what my mother told me when I was young. “She told me that if we both agree with each other, we can virtually occupy a place as small as a tamarind leaf. I would never understand that because tamarind leaf is hardly 2 to 4 mm long. But the moral was if two people agree on views and feelings, you only need a small place,” Parrikar said.
The Defence Minister was speaking at a seminar on ‘Women in Armed Medical Corps’ organised to mark International Women’s Day here, which Raha too attended.
The Air Chief recalled the care given to him by women doctors and nurses when he had injured himself as a cadet.