Gunjan Saxena is an Indian Air Force officer who is one of the only two women IAF officers to be part of the Kargil War. A former helicopter pilot, she evacuated the wounded from Kargil, transported supplies and, helped in surveillance. She was the only woman in the Indian Air Force who flew into war zones into the Kargil War. The Bollywood film Gunjan Saxena: The Kargil Girl is inspired by her life. Here’s her success story. The film had Janhvi Kapoor as Gunjan and featured Pankaj Tiwari too.
Gunjan Saxena was born into an Army family in 1975. Her father and brother both served in the Indian Army. After completing her schooling, Gunjan graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from Hansraj College in Delhi. In 1996, she joined the Indian Air Force as one of the six women as a pilot. Eventually, she became one of the only two women pilots in the Kargil War with Cheetah helicopters.
Gunjan Saxena’s Indian Air Force Service
After joining Air Force, Saxena was posted to Udhampur as a flight lieutenant as a part of the 132 Forward Area Control (FAC). At only the age of 24, she flew during the Kargil War and was stationed in Srinagar.
In the Kargil War, as part of Operation Vijay, Gunjan helped transport supplies to troops in the forward areas of Dras and Batalik. In addition, she also assisted in evacuating the wounded. Gunjan was also assigned surveillance roles such as mapping enemy positions. She made makeshift landing grounds, heights of 13,000 to 18,000 feet, and enemy fire. She became one of the ten pilots and the only female pilot based in Srinagar that flew hundreds of sorties during the war, evacuating over 900 casualties, wounded and killed. Saxena was the only woman in the Indian Armed Forces who flew into war zones in the Kargil War. In 2004, she left the service after serving as a helicopter pilot.
Lessons we can learn
Saxena quoted, “One must always believe in their dreams and work hard to achieve them, despite all odds. In the armed forces, nothing is a walk in the park. I had my share of struggles, as others have had theirs, and those hardships have made me what I am today.”
Despite being a woman, Gunjan beat all odds and achieved her dreams. If we work hard enough and believe in ourselves, we can achieve anything. When you believe in yourself, you can overcome self-doubt and confidence to take action and get things done. Life is filled with hardships, and it’s up to you to overcome them and succeed. Above all, always do your best in every situation.
How old is Gunjan Saxena?
Gunjan Saxena is 47 years old now.
Who is Gunjan Saxena married to?
Gunjan Saxena is married to Gautam Narain.