Wednesday 22 November 2017 was an historic day in India as nation gets her first ever female Navy Navy Pilot in person of Shubhangi Swaroop.
It was a proud moment for every Indian and and all the women in the country as Shubhangi Swaroop made them proud. The Navy achieved this feat within two months of three lady pilots being commissioned by the Indian Air Force. The first batch of female officers was inducted at the Naval Armament Inspection (NAI) branch which was primarily known as a male bastion so far. Shubhangi Swaroop who hails from Bareilly in Uttar Pradesh was excited about the same but understood the opportunity comes with a responsibility. The newly inducted Indian Navy Pilot said, “I know, this is not just an exciting opportunity but a great responsibility also.”
The next step for her is to withstand the training. Swaroop’s training will be held in Hyderabad, at the Dundigal Air Force Academy. In the passing out ceremony on November 22, around 328 cadets of the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard and two overseas cadets passed out upon completing their course. The two overseas cadets are from Tanzania and Maldives and 20 women cadets from the Indian Navy were among those who took part in the passing out parade reviewed by Naval chief Admiral Sunil Lanba. The ceremony was conducted at the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, in Kannur.
This decision by the Indian Navy shows that it recognises the contribution of Indian women in the defence forces. Such a decision will not only help to encourage more women in the society to join the defence forces but it also debunks the gender disparity. The other woman officer who was inducted in the NIA branch are Aastha Segal, Roopa A and Sakthimaya S. Unanimously they said that many women have shown interest to join the forces and such an achievement will only be an inspiration for others.
“Indian Navy had started inducting female officers way back in 1991. It is just that the areas of induction have been expanded,” said Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Sunil Lanba. Admiral Lamba reviewed the passing out parade. The ‘Flag Officer Commanding in Chief (South) Medal’ for the best women cadet was awarded to Cadet Anjani Pandey.
Earlier, in October this year, the Indian Air Force inducted three women pilots. Commissioned as flying officers in July last year the government decided that Avani Chaturvedi, Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh would be allowed in the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.