Indian Air Force Flight Lieutenant Swati Rathore, who hails from Rajasthan, will script a new chapter in the history of woman empowerment by becoming the first woman to lead the flypast on the main Republic Day parade at Delhi’s Rajpath. Her proud father, Dr Bhavani Singh Rathore said: “My daughter has let me hold my head high. I am overwhelmed as the dream which she saw has turned into reality.”
Born in a small village in Rajasthan’s Nagaur district, Swati did her schooling from Ajmer. During her childhood, she made a tricolour in a painting competition, making evident her ardent love for her nation. Eventually, her parents pushed her to realise her dream and post schooling, she joined the NCC Air Wing. Swati had cherished the dream to become a pilot and was selected in the IAF in her first attempt in 2014. Her brother is posted in the Merchant Navy.
Her mother Rajesh Kanwar says that she never treated her son and daughter differently, and this is the reason that her daughter is going to create history. In 2013, Swati appeared in the Air Force Common Admission Test. After clearing it, she was called for an interview by the Air Force Selection Board, Dehradun, in March 2014.
According to Swati, there were around 200 female students from all over the country, out of which 98 were screened-in. Only five aspirants were recommended, in which she was selected for the flying branch.