Indian woman are on a roll, and how. November of 2017 saw Shubhangi Swaroop become Indian Navy’s first woman pilot. In January, Jamida Beevi became the first Indian Muslim woman to lead Jumu’ah, a Friday prayer service of Muslims. And now, flying officer Avani Chaturvedi keeps the flame going by becoming the first Indian woman to fly a fighter aircraft solo.
Chaturvedi earned the achievement on February 19, when she flew a MiG-21 “Bison”, which is said to be a difficult aircraft to handle. Her first sortie lasted for about 30 minutes and was undertaken at the Indian Air Force base at Jamnagar, Gujarat.
This, however, is not Chaturvedi’s first pioneering move. The Indian Air Force’s fighter stream was male dominated, until 2016. Chaturvedi, along with Bhawana Kanth and Mohana Singh, were the first three women to receive fighter pilot training in the Indian Air Force. It is also reported that the IAF has selected its next batch of women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.