An Exceptional Achievement and Monumental Leap in the History of Women Empowerment and Strength: Hina Jaiswal, the First Woman Engineer Inducted by IAF
To be born as a girl child and living your life in the fullest is in itself an achievement in some of the male-dominated places of India. Beautiful buds are just plucked and destroyed even before they start their life journey. It’s a proud moment to every woman in India when we come across women achievers who have not only created their own identity but also have become an inspiration to each one of us who have failed to fight for their own rights.
It takes a lot of determination and grit when women want to become part of any of the three services of the military group. Too many inhibitions are there when it comes to taking women in the male-dominated field. Traditional prejudices, physical strength, and standards, aggressive approach, moreover how women would cope with the horrors when it comes to real war are some of the major drawbacks women have to face. But there has been an appreciable change around all the military services. More and more women are joining the forces. Indian Air Force has taken an initiative to induct women in all roles including the support roles as well as the combat roles. Adding another feather to IAF’s Cap is Flight Lieutenant Hina Jaiswal, who has become its first woman engineer breaching what until last year was the Indian Air Force’s men domain.
A Childhood Dream Comes True
Hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh, from childhood Hina Jaiswal had shown an unbounded passion for becoming an aviator and take on the skies. Born to DK Jaiswal, who had recently retired from the post of Principal Controller of Defence Accounts (PCDA) and a homemaker Anita Jaiswal, Hina always knew what her aim was and her endeavor had come true to wear or don a soldier’s uniform as well as become the first woman engineer of IAF. She is an alumna of Shishu Niketan Model Senior Secondary School and she did her engineering in electronics from University Institute of Engineering and Technology (UIET), Punjab University.
The stride to become Flight Engineer.
In an aircraft’s flight crew the role of a flight engineer is crucial. A member, who monitors and is also responsible for its operation, requires a specialized skill set. The flight engineering branch was not opened to women until 2018.
Hina was commissioned on Jan 15 in the engineering branch of the IAF. Before being selected for the prestigious and esteemed all men Flight Engineers’ Course she had served as Chief of Firing team and battery commander in a frontline Surface to Air Missile squadron. Hina completed her six-month flight engineer course from the 112 Helicopter Unit attached to the Air Force station in Yelahanka in Bengaluru. Her six months of training displayed a strong determination, dedication, and perseverance. She worked shoulder to shoulder with her male counterparts during her rigorous and grueling training period.
Hina and her enthusiastic nature are at its height and are ready to show her stint in aviation. She is ready to embrace all the challenges she would be facing in the days to come. The role of a flight engineer is demanding and she would be posted to all operational helicopter units of IAF that is from anywhere from the Siachen Glacier to seas of Andamans. But Hina Jaiswal is one such woman who is born to show what a real woman is if she is given the proper training and opportunity.
Inspirations to all……
By 2015, with around 1500 women, including 94 pilots and 14 navigators IAF have come a long way from the time when women were only useful in the medical field. Gujan Saxena (flight officer) who was the first woman to fly support sorties in the combat zone during Kargil War, Deepika Misra in 2006 became the first IAF woman pilot to train for the helicopter aerobatic team, Nivedita Choudary (Flight Lieutenant) became the first woman from the IAF to summit the Mount Everest and now Hina Jaiswal are few of the fireballs who have become a milestone and inspiration to every Indian woman who aspires to be a soldier and do something for their motherland.