​Mysuru-based Punya Nanjappa is pursuing her dream to become an Indian Army fighter pilot. Having trained for a year now Punya has become the only woman cadet from her course to join the fighter stream at the Indian Air Force (IAF) Flying Branch, Bangalore Mirror reported. She is training ​with 40 other cadets from the course. A resident of Vijayanagar, Punya was last year selected as a trainee pilot at the Air Force Academy, becoming the only woman cadet ​​from Karnataka to accomplish the feat.

After the completion of her three-stage training, scheduled to be held at the Indian Air Force Academy in Dundigal, Hyderabad, on July 8, Punya will be eligible to join the IAF as a Pilot. Interestingly, she would also become the second woman from the state to do so. The first one is Meghana Shanbough.

Daughter of Anuradha Nanjappa, who is a school teacher and late Coluvanda P. Bala Nanjappa, who served as the manager of a city-based theatre, Punya is a native of Chambebellur in Virajpet Taluk of Kodagu district. Becoming a fighter pilot is no easy feat but she has been dreaming of being one since she was in class nine, says her mother. “Punya always wanted to join the fighter stream and her dream has been realised. In fact, she was the only girl who had opted for it. She has worked very hard to get selected,” Anuradha said. Recollecting her daughter’s numerous achievements, the proud mother also added that her daughter came second in Havard Camp at the Academy and has clinched several medals.

What You Should Know

  • ​Punya Nanjappa, last year, became ​​the only woman cadet ​​from Karnataka to be selected for the flying branch training at ​​the Air Force Academy.
  • The Mysuru girl ​​has become the only woman cadet to join the fighter stream in her course.
  • ​After completing her training,​​ she would be eligible to join the IAF as a pilot, thus becoming the second woman from the state to do so.

​Punya has completed her first task, and will now undergo second and third stages of the training at Hakimpet and after its completion, she would be commissioned to join her operational flying squadron. “It’s going to be very tough. Hopefully, she will be able to overcome them and become commissioned as an officer in the next passing out parade in December,” Anuradha said.

Also read: India women army officers talk about the hurdles they face

​Prior to joining the academy, Punya worked hard to get an engineering degree from the National Institute of Engineering in Mysuru. “While she was in Grade-9, she first expressed her desire to become a pilot, after watching an Air Show which was organised as part of the Dassara celebrations in Mysuru,” said her mother.

Punya, who took up Air Force Common Admission Test (AFCAT) in 2018, was elected to the Indian Air Force as a trainee pilot in 2019. Her efforts eventually paid off. This young woman has proved that you can achieve anything if you put your mind to it.

Also Read: First Woman Army Officer To Win Gallantry Award Gets Permanent Commission

Feature Image Credit:  Asianet News Kannada

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