Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth To Become The First Woman Fighter Pilot To Participate In The Republic Day Parade. This Is Such A Proud Moment

Every year on Republic day, my entire family sits in front of the TV with breakfast and watches the grand parade. It’s become a ritual since I was in school. I love watching the army battalions, the air shows and singing patriotic songs. However, this year, there is yet another reason I will be sitting and eagerly watching the parade. You see, Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth is set to become the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day parade. She is making history and we can’t be more proud! 

Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth will be a part of the Indian Air Force’s tableau that will represent light combat aircraft, light combat helicopter and the Sukhoi-30 fighter plane. She is currently posted at an air base in Rajasthan where she flies the MiG-21 Bison fighter plane. 

If the fact that she is the first woman fighter pilot to participate in the parade wasn’t impressive and inspirational enough, Bhawana is also one of the first women fighter pilots to be inducted into the IAF. She, along with Avani Chaturvedi and Mohana Singh, was admitted to the IAF in 2016. Making history, ten women had been commissioned into the IAF as fighter pilots after an experimental scheme for their induction into the IAF’s combat stream was introduced in 2015. 

Also Read: Punya Nanjappa Is The Only Woman IAF Cadet In Her Course To Become A Fighter Pilot. She Is An Inspiration

On Monday, the Union Health Minister, Harsh Vardhan, took to Twitter to congratulate Bhawana. He said this marked the dawn of a new and empowered women-led India. Well, let’s hope he is right. Flight lieutenant Bhawana Kanth is all set to set a new precedent by being the first woman to participate in the Republic Day parade. It’s an extremely inspirational moment. 

Bhawana hails from Darbhanga, Bihar. Her father worked as an engineer in IOCL. After she had completed Stage I training, she got an opportunity to opt for the fighter stream. Talking about her first spin solo on fighter aircraft Kiran, she said, “I told myself that if I don’t do it now, I will always be afraid of it. I spun the aircraft and to my surprise, the spin was more vicious or so it seemed. But the fighter pilot in me took over and I told myself come what may I will recover. And the aircraft recovered from spin and so did my confidence.” 

Finally, women in the IAF are being recognized and honoured. Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth has us feeling so proud and inspired. Let’s hope that in the years to come, we see more and more inclusion of women in our defence streams and parades.


Mitali Shah

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