Fighting all odds, Aanchal Gangwal, the daughter of a tea seller from a small district in Madhya Pradesh, is now a flying officer of the Indian Air force.
Aanchal who proved her mettle at the Air Force Academy in Dundigal, was awarded the President’s Plaque at the combined graduation parade on June 20, 2020, that saw 123 flight cadets commissioned as officers of the Indian Air Force (IAF), reported The New Indian Express.
Aanchal recalled how her father, Suresh Gangwal, who has been running a small tea stall in Neemuch district for a long time, strived hard during his entire life to ensure that his two daughters and one son are provided with all necessary amenities. The 23-year-old said that she has always been a fighter.
“When I was a school kid, I had decided to be in the defence. Today as I become an officer, it still feels surreal. It is a dream come true,” she was quoted as saying by Ridhima Gupta of the Express
Unfortunately, due to the pandemic situation, parents of the flight cadets could not attend the passing out parade at Dundigal AFA. “I used to dream of this day almost every night. To stand in my uniform, in front of my father and mother, who have fought all the difficulties in their lives to get me here. However, due to Covid-19 that could not happen. But I am happy that they could see the ceremony on television.”
She said that neither of her parents ever raised doubts about her dreams or capabilities despite being a girl. “When I told my parents that I want to be in defence, they were a little worried like any parent. But they never tried to stop me. In fact, they have always been the pillars of my life.”
During the passing out parade, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria had said that this year the newly commissioned IAF officers, instead of going home for a break, would be proceeding straight to their next units to shoulder their responsibilities for the task at hand. When asked about the same, Aanchal reportedly said: “I am always ready to serve my motherland and see this as an opportunity to do so.” Aanchal holds a graduate degree in Computer Science from Sitaram Jaju Government Girls College in Neemuch, MP and had earlier worked as a sub-inspector in the MP Police Department and a labour inspector in MP Labour Department for eight months, before joining AFA.