Vijayalakshmi Ramanan, a retired Wing Commander, who was also the first woman officer of IAF (Indian Air Force), breathed her last on 18 October. She passed away at her daughter’s residence in Jayanagar late on Sunday, as the age of 96, due to old age-related causes.
According to reports, Ramanan’s ashes were immersed in the Cauvery river at Srirangapatna on Tuesday. SVL Narayan, the son-in-law of the late IAF officer told the Times of India, “She was independent until the very end. She moved in with us (Jayanagar) about seven years ago. She lived by herself at her Ulsoor road home until then.” He further added that she started developing health complications about 10 days ago. The family shifted her to Command Hospital. However, Ramanan passed away peacefully in her sleep on Sunday, at 8:50 pm.
Vijayalakshmi Ramanan: First woman IAF officer
Vijayalakshmi Ramanan was commissioned in the Army Medical Corps as an officer on 2 August 1955, while being seconded to the IAF on the same day. She went on the become a Wing Commander on 22 August 1972. She served for 24 years in the Indian Air Force, retiring on 28 February 1979. She has been awarded the Vishisht Seva Medal in 1977 for providing medical services to women and children coming from defence families. She was granted Permanent commission in 1971.
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Ramanan was posted at Air Force hospitals during her service in various cities as Jalahalli (Bengaluru), Kanpur and Secunderabad, among others. In addition to being a Gynecologist, she handled administrative duties related to family planning in the medical board.
Ramanan was born on February 27, 1924. She joined the Madras Medical College for MBBS in 1943. She received the Balfour memorial medal for Medicine and Madras University’s prize for Surgery.
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Following her graduation, Ramanan did her MD in obstetrics and gynaecology. She went on to work as an assistant surgeon in the Egmore Maternity hospital in Chennai. After being commissioned as an officer in 1955, she went on to serve in the IAF. She is survived by her daughter and son.
Ramanan was married to Wing Commander (retd) KV Ramanan, who passed away in 1971 due to cancer. Vijaylakshmi Ramanan was trained in Carnatic music. She was an All India Radio (AIR) artist since she was 15. “She represented her college in various music competitions. She broadcasted regularly from Delhi, Lucknow, Secunderabad and Bengaluru,” her family said.
Image Credit: Bharatrakshak.com/ Hans India
Shikha Chandra is an intern at SheThePeople.TV.