This very moment when you are reading this, three powerpuff girls could be preparing to fly fighter aircraft and beam away to glory of becoming the first three women cadets to do so. Avani Chaturvedi (Madhya Pradesh), Bhawana Kanth (Bihar) and Mohana Singh (Rajasthan) have made history and we are proud of them.
However, women have been inducted as pilots in the world’s fourth-largest air force since 1991 but so far, they have only found their way in non-combat roles flying helicopters and transport aircraft. It was the joint decision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to open the cockpits of fighter aircraft for women, which was later announced by President Pranab Mukherjee in a speech that the government had approved the proposal.
The first set of these three woman officers is undergoing flying training at the Indian Air Force base camp along with her male counterparts. According to IAF officials, there will be no special treatment for the women cadets and hence they undergo the same rigourous training as the men. They are currently doing Stage-II training. Then, after undergoing Stage-III training on Hawk advanced jet trainers, they will become full-fledged fighter pilots by mid-2017.
Bhawana Kanth belongs to Bihar and it was her childhood dream to be a fighter pilot. While Mohana Singh is a B.tech graduate, who was working as an IT professionals in Cognizant but was simultaneously preparing to join the services. The young Avani from Rewa loved to play with planes and choppers since childhood.