Fighting all odds, Aanchal Gangwal, the daughter of a tea-seller in India, topped the Indian Air Force (IAF) Academy. She was commissioned as a flying officer, and was awarded the President’s Plaque, on June 20. The President’s Plaque is awarded to the flight cadet who stands first in the overall merit in the ground duty branches.
Indian social media users and politicians are congratulating the 23-year-old on her achievement.
Reportedly, Gangwal was a part of the 123 air warriors, including 19 women officers, who were commissioned by the IAF on June 20, at a combined graduation day parade at the Air Force Academy, in Hyderabad’s Dundigal.
Two years ago, Aanchal Gangwal, made it to the flying branch of the Indian Air Force as the only candidate from the state of Madhya Pradesh, to clear the admission test. She is a Computer Science graduate from a government degree college in Neemuch. Before passing the test, she secured a job as sub-inspector in the MP police, and later worked as an inspector in the labour department.
Reportedly, her father Suresh Gangwal said: “There were times when I had to borrow money to ensure that she continued her studies. We are happy and honoured.” He how Aaanchal would occasionally come to the tea stall and help him and also complete her homework on the side
However, this year the parents and family members of the cadets were not present at the awarding event due to the restrictions imposed to stop the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.
Ganwal said: “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. 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.”
Sharing Gangwal’s story, some tweeps hoped for more girls to come to the forefront and apply for similar careers.