Udayavni Special

The Kargil Girl-Gunjan Saxena: The story of first woman IAF officer to fly in a combat zone


Team Udayavani, Aug 11, 2020, 12:25 PM IST

The Kargil Girl starring Janhvi Kapoor, Pankaj Tripathi, Angad Bedi, Vineet Kumar Singh, Manav Vij and Ayesha Raza Mishra is all set to release on Netflix on August 12. The biopic is based on the life of Indian Air Force pilot Gunjan Saxena who became the first Indian woman pilot to fly in a combat zone during the Kargil war.

Gunjan Saxena

Gunjan Saxena was born in an Army officer family in the year 1975. Her father and brother served the Indian Army.

She completed her graduation from Hansraj College, University of Delhi. Gunjan joined Safdarjung Flying Club, New Delhi to learn the basics of flying during her college days. Gunjan cleared the exam and joined the Indian Air Force in the year 1994.She was the only woman pilot among the male-dominated group of officers.

In 1999, at the height of the Kargil War, she operated the Cheetah helicopter at heights close to 18,000ft to lift troops, carry materials to the frontlines and evacuate more than 900 casualties as well as many fallen heroes. Landing on makeshift helipads, Saxena deftly maneuvered the Cheetah in less than ideal weather conditions and often, amidst live fire.

According to TheQuint, When casualties were reported, Gunjan went for medical evacuations. Her chopper was almost missed by an enemy missile and crashed. She landed on the helipad and waited for injured soldiers to be carried to her chopper and successfully rescued them. She was awarded with the Shaurya Vir Award.

In 2004, after serving for 7 years as a Chopper Pilot, Gunjan Saxena’s service with Indian Military ended.

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