Avani Chaturvedi, 24, is one of the first female fighter pilots of India. She hails from MP, India. She was appointed as the first combat pilot along with two of her cohort, Mohana Singh, and Bhawana Kanth. These three young women were inducted into the Indian Air Force fighter squadron in June 2016.
Avani Chaturvedi was born on 27 October 1993. Her father, Mr. Dinkar Chaturvedi, is an engineer and mother a home maker. Avani’s elder brother is an army officer. After completing her Bachelors in Technology from Banasthali University, Rajasthan in 2014, Avani passed the Indian Air Force exam. Avani Chaturvedi completed her training at Hyderabad Air Force Academy. She loves to play chess, table tennis and to do sketching and painting. She was highly inspired by her elder brother and she also had a few hours of flying experience in the flying club of her college, which inspired her to join the Indian Air Force.
Avani flew MiG-21 Bison Fighter Jet. MiG-21 Bison has the highest landing and take-off speed in the world – 340 kmph. Avani is inspired by her brother. The three women were commissioned as flying officers into the fighter stream after basic training in June 2016 on “an experimental basis” for five years initially. She is inspired by her brother who is in the Army. She always wanted to conquer the skies and hence joined the Flying Club in her college.
Avani’s remarkable achievement has put India on the list of the countries such as Britain, the United States, Israel, and Pakistan, where women are allowed to fly fighter jets. In October 2015 the Indian Government took the decision to open the fighter stream for women. Combat roles in the Army and the Navy are still off-limits for women, due to a combination of operational concerns and logistical constraints.
In the IAF since 1993, women officers have been inducted in all branches and stream as Short Service Commissioned Officers except in the fighter stream. IAF has revised Short Service Commission scheme to induct women into the fighter stream on experimental basis for five years and it has already selected the next batch of three women trainee pilots for the fighter stream.
There’s no doubt that our country India needs more women like Avani who can make us all proud and this is something very easy! Yes you heard it right, it’s easy only if young girls in India are given good education and equal opportunities of growth and development like their male counterparts.