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Meet Swati Rathore, The First Woman IAF Lieutenant To Lead The Flypast At The Republic Day Parade. It’s A Moment That Will Make History

January 25, 2021 | by Mitali Shah

Sometimes when we are so focused on all bad in the world, we forget to stop and celebrate the good. No matter how slowly, the fact of the matter is that we are progressing. Women are making history, breaking barriers and smashing through glass ceilings. I am just glad we are here to witness this new era that is dawning. Having said that, tomorrow’s Republic Day may seem like just another national holiday. But it’s not. You see, for the time in ever, a woman IAF lieutenant is leading the flypast at the annual parade. It’s a moment that will go down in history! 

Indian Air Force Lieutenant, Swati Rathore, is all set to make history by being the first woman to lead the flypast at the Republic Day parade on January 26 at Delhi’s Rajpath. This announcement came merely days after we found out that Flt Lt Bhawana Kanth will be the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the annual parade

IAF officer Swati Rathore hails from a small village in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district. She completed her schooling in Ajmer and was selected in the IAF in 2014 in her very first attempt. 

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

In 2013, Swati appeared in the Air Force Common Admission Test. Once she cleared she was called in for an interview by the Air Force Selection Board, Dehradun, in March 2014. Swati was amongst 200 female students that were selected from all over the country. However, only 98 of them passed the screening. After the screening, only five female students, including Swati, remained. She was the only one who was selected for the flying branch. Her story is so inspiring! 

It’s a very proud moment for us all. But especially for her family who have uber supportive of her dreams. Swati’s father Dr. Bhavani Singh Rathore said, “My daughter has let me hold my head high. I am overwhelmed as the dream which she saw has turned into reality.” He also urged all families to support their daughter’s dreams. Only if all parents were as encouraging as Swati’s. 

Swati’s achievement of becoming the first woman to lead the flypast at the Republic Day parade was lauded by everyone. Former Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje took to Twitter to show his appreciation and shower Swati with praise. He wrote, “It is a matter of pride for all of us that the daughter of Veerbhoomi #Rajasthan and Flight Lieutenant of Air Force #SwatiRathore will lead the ‘FlyPast’ in the parade on Rajpath on the occasion of Republic Day. I wish her a bright future!” 

This Republic Day, Swati Rathore makes history. It’s a very proud and inspirational moment for women all around our country.


Mitali Shah

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