Women in Aviation India (WAI), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Civil Aviation today celebrated and acknowledged the contribution of women in aviation in a program held today at Roseate House, New Delhi.
Around 30 women achievers who have played a significant role in the aviation sector were felicitated by eminent dignitaries on the special occasion of International Women’s Day, which is celebrated throughout March globally, especially by organisations such as ICAO, IATA and other civil aviation bodies.
Successful women aviators and achievers in the fields of Drone technology, aerospace, defence services, flight safety, cargo, heavy equipment operations, civil engineering, strategic planning, customer relationship management, flight operations and various aspects of Airline operations were recognized for their outstanding contribution. Women shining in the arena of pilot training and aero sports, inspiring today’s youth as role models, were also felicitated at the ceremony.
Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Honourable Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Government of India was the Chief Guest of the program. Shri Rajiv Bansal, Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India and Smt. Usha Padhee, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Civil Aviation, Government of India were also present to congratulate the awardees. The ceremony was also attended by the members of the Women in Aviation International – India chapter, senior representatives of FICCI and international airlines.
Speaking on the occasion Shri Jyotiraditya M. Scindia, Honourable Union Minister of Civil Aviation, said, “Today is a landmark day, when we are celebrating the achievements of women in the aviation industry, as we celebrate 75 years of independence this year with the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. As a country with a 1.3 billion population, the world’s largest democracy, with 70 per cent of the population below the age of 35, that is potential India represents to the world. But this is a latent potential that needs to be converted to kinetic. Women in Aviation has been working in this direction. It’s the need of the hour, the clarion call to bring women to the forefront so that we can achieve our dream of becoming a superpower. The role of women is not confined to airports and airplanes only and the number of ladies being recognised today is only a drop in the ocean. Numerous other women have also made a remarkable contribution to this industry.
He further added, “Our country has a rich heritage of women in Aviation; 15 per cent of our pilots are women, while the average global rate is only 5 per cent. But we need to do much more and shift our parameters to bring this 15 per cent to 50 per cent. We all need to start at the grassroots by making STEM education accessible.”
WIA – Women in Aviation, is a group of women stalwarts of the aviation industry representing multiple fields and interests. Members of WAI represent diverse roles in the broad aviation spectrum such as commercial pilots, military pilots, astronauts, entrepreneurs, AMEs, air traffic controllers, academicians, journalists, flight attendants, airport managers and are passionate to give back meaningfully to the future generation. Women in Aviation – India chapter, is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the encouragement and advancement of women in all aviation career fields and interests, was launched on December 7, 2015, on the occasion of International Civil Aviation Day.
Mrs. Radha Bhatia, President, WIA-India Chapter, speaking on the occasion, shared, “It’s an absolute pleasure to host this event along with the Ministry of Civil Aviation, which celebrates the contribution of all women achievers. This day would be remembered in the history of aviation, where we have so many eminent stars of Aviation present amongst us for the first time, along with a very dynamic Civil Aviation Minister and the eminent dignitaries from the ministry, FICCI, and the industry. Women in aviation including the defence forces are also being felicitated today. Women have an important role to play in the aviation sector. India’s biggest problem today is that of unemployment and increasing participation in tourism and aviation might be one of the answers. We should all come together to provide maximum opportunities to all in an endeavor to put women at the forefront.”
The Minister also released a book titled ‘From Sarees to Stripes’ authored by Captain Manisha M. Puri. The book features true stories of commercial women pilots in India, and how they overcame extraordinary challenges to be where they are today.