Set to create history as the first women fighter pilots in India, trainee cadets Bhawna Kanth, Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh said they are ready to face any challenge thrown at them, asserting that the training being imparted to them is same as what their male counterparts undergo.
“We are in a basic stage of training and in future I would like to fly any aircraft in the fighter fleet. We have not yet made history as we are still under training,” trainee fighter pilot Bhawna told ANI.
When asked about the challenges they might face as women pilots, she said, “Nothing different from my male counter parts. When the challenge arises, I will be ready to face it.”
Mohana Singh said that the training so far has been ‘memorable’, adding that it was her aim to fly a fighter jet.
“The journey so far has been memorable. I had never thought that I would reach this far. Hard work and merit paid off. Presently we fly, we study. We learn ground subjects as well as flying. It’s the same as our male counterparts,” she said.
Talking about her cherished dream of flying, she said, “If it was just a hobby, then I would not be here. Hobbies are not pursued seriously. There was an aim, there was family support and motivation by instructors.”
Avani Chaturvedi expressed her happiness at being part of IAF’s fighter training program, saying that a fighter jet is what defines the Air Force.
“We are going to make history, we are undergoing training. Air Force is a very good organisation and fighters define any Air Force. Being in the Air Force is good but being a fighter is the best. We are undergoing basic training,” she said.
Air chief Marshal Arup Raha, on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Tuesday, announced that the nation will see its first batch of female fighter pilots on June 18th this year.
Saying that all the three trainees should get commissioned on that day and become the first women officers in the fighter stream, Raha added that subsequently they will go to the advanced jet training and later proceed to the regular squads.
In February 2016, President Pranab Mukherjee had announced that all military combat roles will be open to women in the future.