Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh) [India], September 24 (ANI): The residence of Flight Lieutenant Shivangi Singh in Varanasi, is brimming with celebratory greetings as she sets to become the first female fighter pilot to fly the Rafale fighter jet for the Indian Air Force (IAF) on Thursday.
Speaking to ANI, Shivangi's family expressed their pride and talked about her journey so far.
"It was a difficult journey and she worked so hard for it. She has always been a brilliant student and aced in sports as well. She wanted to go to the Air Force, and she did make her dream come true," her brother Shubanshu said.
Her mother Seema said that the family is proud and a bit anxious about Shivangi's journey ahead.
"We always supported her in all her endeavours. She was a brilliant student and excelled in sports. She was a national-level javelin thrower and basket ball player. She also made a mark for herself during her NCC days. We are very proud of her, but there is anxiety about her flying a new plane," she said.
Seema also shared that Shivangi was flying MiG-21 Bison for a long time, and the family is elated to know that their daughter has excelled at it.
"It might be some time before we are at ease with her flying the new plane, but we are proud that she will be guarding the national borders," Singh's mother added.
Singh is currently undergoing conversion training and will soon be inducted into the Golden Arrows squadron of IAF.
The IAF is the first Force to have allowed women officers in combat and has the highest percentage of female officers. The IAF has 10 women fighter pilots and 18 women navigators. The total strength of women officers serving in the IAF is 1,875.
Last week, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik had told Parliament that women fighter pilots are inducted and deployed in IAF as per strategic needs and operational requirements. (ANI)