News18.com Daybreak | Avani Chaturvedi's Wings, Kamal Haasan's Flag and Other Stories You May Have Missed
Rewa: Watching the planes fly over her head, little Avani Chaturvedi never thought that her fascination for aircrafts would help her break records fifteen years later. All she knew was that she had to make everyone proud like Kalpana Chawla.
“Unlike other girls, Avani used to love playing with chopper and plane models. When astronaut Kalpana Chawla died, our 11-year-old daughter told us that one day she would make everyone proud just like the Indian-American,” said an elated Savita Chaturvedi, mother of Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi.
True to her words, the Madhya Pradesh girl on Monday became the first Indian woman to fly fighter jet.
Chaturvedi’s father Dinkar Prasad is an engineer with Bansagar project, while her mother is a housewife. It was the flying officer’s brother, Nirabh, who inspired her to join the force.
“Avani drew her inspiration from Nirabh, who is a captain in the Army. She did not even tell us before applying in the Air Force. It was only after she cleared the exam, that we got to know it,” her mother said.
A native of Satna’s Kothikanchan village, the Chaturvedi family now resides in Madhya Pradesh’s Rewa.
Chaturvedi's mother said that her girl has shown what daughters are capable of. “It’s a really proud moment for all of us; even more because our daughter chose to serve the nation,” her father DP Chaturvedi said.
Wishing that every family gets a daughter like hers, Chaturvedi’s mother advised people not to discriminate between daughters and sons as everyone is equally capable.
During last month’s ‘Mann Ki Baat’, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also congratulated Chaturvedi, along with Bhavna Kanth, Mohana Singh, after they became fighter pilots.
Chaturvedi, Kanth and Singh had undergone strenuous training programme to fly fighter jets. They were commissioned as flying officers in July 2016, less than a year after the government decided to open the fighter stream for women on an experimental basis.