A father-daughter duo etched history recently by flying a Hawk-132 trainee aircraft sortie together. The father-daughter duo of Commodore Sanjay Sharma, and Flying Officer Ananya Sharma etched history earlier on May 30 at the IAF Station, Bidar, Karnataka as they flew Hawk-132s in the same formation.
The story of Mr. Sanjay and his daughter Ananya is remarkable and gives true meaning of feminism and women empowerment where a daughter touched the sky (quite literally), and her father was by her side, through and through.
Air Commodore Sanjay Sharma is a veteran fighter pilot while his 24-year-old daughter Ananya is undergoing her transitional fighter training. She was commissioned earlier last December and has been into the training since. After flying in the same formation of Hawk-132 planes with her father, she is now being looked as the epitome of feminism, and a real pride of India.
An IAF officer was quoted in a TOI report saying, “There has not been any previous instance in the IAF where a father and his daughter were part of the same fighter formation for a mission. They were more than just father and daughter. They were comrades, who had full faith in each other as fellow wingmen.”
According to reports, Ananya has completed her B.Tech in Electronics and Communication. Her father meanwhile has been serving in the IAF since 1989.
The Facts of the Matter
‘Mhaari chhoriya choro se kam hai ke?’
These words from Aamir Khan from his blockbuster Dangal truly encapsulates the story of Mr. Sanjay Sharma and his daughter Ananya Sharma. In a first, the father-daughter duo etched history by flawing two Hawk-132 sortie together.
The story truly embodies all that’s said about women empowerment and feminism. It sheds the light on a woman, who persevered to fulfill her ambitions of serving her nation and her father, who stood right by her side and supported her in her endeavor.
Father-Daughter Duo Etches History
On May 30, at IAF’s base in Bidar, Karnataka, Commodore Sanjay Sharma and Flying Officer Ananya Sharma flew Hawk-132 in the same fighter formation, and etched history by being the first father-daughter duo in the nation to do so.
Commodore Sanjay Sharma is a veteran pilot who has been serving the Indian Air Force since 1989. Meanwhile. Ananya Sharma is a flying officer who was commissioned in December 2021. Sharma is going through her ‘transitional’ fighter training after being commissioned.
Father Daughter duo created history on 30 May 2022
Flew in same formation of Hawk-132 ✈ at Air Force Stn Bidar, where Flying Officer Ananya Sharma is undergoing training before graduating onto faster & more superior fighter aircraft of IAF.#IndianAirForce pic.twitter.com/hTwjLhtDao
— Defence Squad (@Defence_Squad_) July 6, 2022
Fortune Favoured the Brave
While Ananya persevered to make her way through to the IAF, she also received a boost from destiny. In 2016, the center shattered the combat exclusion policy for Indian women working in armed forces. This paved a way for Ananya to slowly but steadily come close to fulfilling her dream of becoming a fighter pilot. Like many brave men and women, she once again proved that fortune truly favours the brave.
What’s Next for Ananya?
Currently, Ananya is undergoing the intense transitional fighter training at Bidar. The training includes learning intense combat maneuvers, and getting trained in armament firing. The training can last for an year, so that new fighters can manage the harsh beasts, also known as the MiG aircrafts.
“As a child…”: Flying Officer Ananya
In a TOI report, Ananya was quoted mentioning how she always aspire to become a fighter pilot, and how her father was always sure of her aspiration coming true. “As a child, I would often ask my father why there were no women fighter pilots. He would tell me in his characteristic style `Don’t worry, you will be one’.”, she was quoted saying.