Today we may call ourselves a part of the developed society, but it is a bitter truth that even today our country is bound by the shackles of patriarchal thinking. Even today women have to struggle in every field. Despite having talent, gender does come in the way. Things are changing with the passage of time, but the struggle of women is not over yet.
History is witness, the path of the future for women was also made by a woman. Stories of such women should be read. Today we are going to tell you the story of one such brave woman, Harita Kaur Deol. This story tells us that women cannot lag behind in any race of the world.
In the year 1992, Harita Kaur Deol started her career with the Indian Air Force. Hardly anyone would have thought that two years after creating history, Harita Kaur Deol would say goodbye to the world. On December 24, 1996, 24 Indian Air Force personnel, including Harita, were killed in a plane crash in Nellore.
Year 1992 when women cadets got an opportunity in the Air Force
Today, the way women are waving their flag in other fields apart from the Indian Army. This was not the case about 20 years ago. This is from the year 1992, when for the first time in the recruitment of SSC officers, the Ministry of Defense of the country gave women the opportunity to join the Air Force.
A total of eight pilots were to be recruited by the ministry in the women’s category. More than 20 thousand women had applied for this post. Around 500 women took the entrance test. But in the end 10 to 12 women were selected and one of them was Harita Kaur Deol.
Who was Harita Kaur Deol
Harita Kaur Deol was born on 10 November 1971 in a Sikh family in Chandigarh, the capital of Punjab and Haryana. Harita was the only daughter of her parents. Being a part of the Indian Air Force was Harita’s childhood dream. His father, RS Deol, was a colonel in the Indian Army.
Harita completed her education from Punjab itself. After that Harita took admission in the preliminary training at the Air Force Academy. After completing his training, he took training at the Airlift Course Training Establishment (ALFTE) at Yelahanka Air Force Station, Dandigul, near Hyderabad.
The plane was flown alone to an altitude of 10,000 feet
When Harita turned 22, she reached Yelahanka Air Force Station to undergo rigorous training. On September 2, 1994, Harita single-handedly flew an Avro HS-748 plane to an altitude of 10,000 feet. Although the presence of a co-pilot in an Air Force plane is mostly seen, but this was the first proud moment when Harita Kaur Deol Vayu, alone, was able to fly the army plane at such a height.
This moment was not only the most memorable moment of Harita Kaur Deol’s life. But it was also a proud moment for his training officer. Her training officer said that Harita was performing better than male pilots. After the flight was successful, Harita Kaur Deol while interacting with the media said,
“I am glad I flew solo and lived up to the expectations of my instructor… First I will talk to my parents and maybe celebrate today’s victory with my friends over the weekend।– Harita Kaur
It was just two years after Harita became a part of the Indian Air Force that on 24 December 1996, the news of an Air Force plane crash in Nellore, Andhra Pradesh was received. There were a total of 24 members of the Air Force in that aircraft, including Harita Kaur Deol.
“My daughter was fearless”
Harita’s father RS Deol and mother Kamaljit Kaur fill their eyes whenever they remember their daughter. Harita’s mother Kamaljeet Kaur says, “Time took her away from us long ago. She took great care of me. My daughter was fearless.” RS Deol says, “I feel proud that my daughter has brought laurels to the family as well as the nation by becoming the first Flight Lieutenant in the Indian Army.”
Harita Kaur Deol may not be with us today, but her story is an inspiration to all of us. The Better India Salute to this brave pilot of India.
Editing – G N Jha
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