NEW DELHI: Being a first or being a woman does not matter but being a fighter pilot matters, says India's one of the first three fighter pilots Flight Lieutenant Avani Chaturvedi said on Sunday.
Speaking to ANI she said, "We are very lucky that we have got an opportunity to fulfill our dreams because when we joined there was no option for women to join fighters' team."
"Once we got our training staged we got the news that we would be allowed so I would like to say that Air Force has supported us a lot to achieve our dreams," she said.
"Being a woman and first does not matter much, being a fighter pilot matters," she added.
She said that there is no difference between and lady officers and male officers as we share the same training and amenities.
"There is no such thing as a difference in male officer and a female officer. We share the same syllabus and all other amenities," she said.
President Kovind presented the Nari Shakti Puraskar to Flt Lt Avani Chaturvedi, Flt Lt Bhawanna Kanth and Flt Lt Mohana Singh. They became the first Indian women fighter pilots to fly a MIG-21 Bison. #SheInspiresUs #WomensDay pic.twitter.com/bQwT0zDuks— President of India (@rashtrapatibhvn) March 8, 2020
Responding to a question on becoming a permanent commission officer, she said, "Definitely, Air Force has given us the option to become a permanent commission officer. It totally depends upon our performance and merit."
Speaking on the Nari Shakti Puraskar she said, "It is a very good initiative from the government. Giving recognition not just to us but many women achievers who we had met motivates others. "
Speaking to ANI another fighter pilot from the first batch Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth said that being a fighter pilot feels good.
"It definitely feels good to become a part of this amazing organisation which has given us this opportunity to become a fighter pilot," she said.
Speaking on her future operations she said, "We are already performing our operational duties and for the future let's see what comes next."
"Flying the Mig-21 is a matter of pride for me," she added.
Speaking on receiving the 'Nari Shakti Puraskar' she said that it is a way to inspire people.
"I think that giving Puraskar is a way to inspire people and there are a lot of women who have got the award and it show the efforts put by various women in the country," she told ANI.
Flight Lieutenant Mohana Singh said that receiving the Nari Shakti Puraskar, they felt privileged and honoured.
"Nari Shakti Puraskar...we feel privileged and honoured to receive this award as it is not just motivation to us to continue doing the service for the nation but also to the other women and girls who are looking up to us," she said.
Giving a message to aspirants she said, "Spread your wings and fly high."