Seventy years after independence, Shubhangi Swaroop has made history by becoming the first woman to be inducted into the Indian Navy as a pilot.
Shubhangi, a native of Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, was part of the first batch of female officers to graduate from the Indian Naval Academy, Ezhimala, Kannur. A biotechnology engineer from VIT, she is also a national taekwondo champion. Apart from making history, this achievement also holds personal value, for she has now followed in the footsteps of her father Gyan Swaroop, a serving Naval officer. In an interview with Deccan Chronicle, Gyan said,
“After competing her BTech in biotechnology, she was eager to join the defence forces. A national gold medallist in taekwondo and a passionate diver, she always dreamt of becoming part of the defence forces.”
Shubhangi's mother, Kalpana Swaroop, is a secondary school teacher at Navy Children School, Visakhapatnam.
Shubhangi looks forward to living up to the expectations of everyone around her. At the same time, she also hopes to inspire other women to want to join the Navy as pilots. Excited as she is, she understands the responsibility that comes with the position. According to The Times of India, she said,
"I know this is not just an exciting opportunity but a great responsibility also."
Shubhangi will undergo year-long training at Dundigal Air Force Academy near Hyderabad.
As Shubhangi was inducted into the Indian Navy as the first female pilot, in another first, three women from her batch were inducted into the Naval Armament Inspection (NAI) branch.