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Sqn Ldr Sumedha Chopra (Retd.) (AFP 2018, SMP 2006)


1947, AFTER THE PARTITION: Pushpa, 32, a married woman reached Patiala, India from Lahore, Pakistan with 3 kids and a husband. The husband felt shattered by the partition trauma and wasn’t in a state to provide for the family. Circumstantially, they had to leave their mansions, money and luxurious life behind. Pushpa was determined and after a long struggle managed to start working as a nurse in Patiala, provided education to her children and enabled them to stand on their feet.


1957, FROM A VILLAGE IN PUNJAB: Santosh, a 17 year old girl, started as a teacher and influenced many lives positively as a creative force. She retired in 1997, after an influential career of 40 years.


1990, IN STRONG WAYS UNSEEN: Sonu, 26 year old married woman, checked all the boxes that society and her parents had listed out for her, including having a child. But, she had her own dreams. She continued her studies, managed all household chores, raised her daughter, performed all duties of an ideal daughter-in-law, and on top of this managed to stay financially independent through her job – not an easy journey to lead in rural India.


2009, FIRST IAF OFFICER IN THE TOWN: 21, like any small-town girl, she was expected to study, get married, start a family and be a devoted wife (I know many of us are still in these shoes). But, she was not content with ‘fulfilling the societal responsibilities’ like many others. She worked hard, prepared well and forced her way to become the first officer in the Indian Air Force from her town. This girl is me.


The common thread between these 4 strong individuals is the lineage and I am fortunate to be born in the family of such amazing women who broke many stereotypes in their own ways. They did not just fuel their own lives but of many more women (definitely including mine).



AUTHOR: admin
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