Check out 16 Return-To-Work Programs In India For Ambitious Women Like You!
Capt. Durba Banerjee has been so many firsts- here's another of her firsts: she flew the Tornado A-200, Airbus 300 and Boeing 737- WHAT?
The sky is no limit—at least not for Capt. Durba Banerjee—the first female commercial pilot of India.
Capt. Durba Banerjee broke all the stereotypes and rose to the air, literally. Capt. Banerjee was the first generation (female) pilot in her house, but it didn’t stop her from flying towards her dreams.
Ever since she was a kid, Durba liked watching the planes. She watched them soar in the sky, taking away her breath and burning up the fire of passion she would later make her career.
Life in the 1950s was not up for grabs for passionate women. With the country just becoming independent India, we had to learn a lot about how to work after 190 years of invasion—so working women weren’t given much of a priority.
However, it is impressive and vastly comforting to read how Capt. Durba Banerjee changed the concept of ‘women at work’ and excelled in an entirely male-dominated field.
While women in a field that required scientific training seem common and celebrated today, it sure wasn’t back in the 50s- but Capt. Durba Banerjee dreamt, dreamt as she should and soared up high in the air.
Durba was the first in so many things. She was the first woman pilot of Okinawa Airlines in Japan in 1959. But this was not the point of satiety for our Capt. Durba Banerjee because she was destined to achieve more and more.
In 1966, she became the first woman pilot of Indian Airlines, based off Calcutta.
As mentioned on the People Pill, it is said that when she approached Humayun Kabir, the Central Aviation Minister, to apply for the position of commercial pilot—he mansplained her into offering her the job of a flight attendant.
I am not even surprised over this. Even if this is a claim, I am sure Capt. Durba Banerjee had to deal with her share of mansplaining male chauvinists- continuously trying to explain her science.
Capt. Banerjee was all about flying and achieving her limitless dreams. In 1966, she became the caption of the F27- a Dutch aircraft. Capt. Durba has been so many firsts—here’s another of her firsts: she flew the Tornado A-200, Airbus 300 and Boeing 737 – WHAT?
I am awestruck by Capt. Durba, but feel sad that she went on to live so many years without the recognition she deserves.
In 1988, Capt. Durba retired as a pilot, but she did leave a legacy behind. I find it super exciting that our icon Capt. Banerjee didn’t leave with just being the first at flying planes—she even had a phenomenal number of flying hours, and that was- 18,500 hours! Truly, she is phenomenal!
When I look at her, after all these years- I see a proud woman, breaking the stereotypes and defying the conventional gender norms that over drove the country for a long time. I see a small Durba, looking over the sky, seeing planes fly over her head, closing her eyes and thinking of her being the one flying that flight.
I see a dreamer- because I am one, and she is one.
Image credit: Twitter
I am a journalism student with a penchant for writing about women and social issues. I am an intersectional feminist and an aspiring journalist. I identify as she/her. read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
Stay updated with our Weekly Newsletter or Daily Summary - or both!
"There is a story and a vision which makes us gravitate towards cinema. Even as we worked as assistants on ads, we realised that cinema was our true calling," say Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh Raseen.
The Railway Men. Mili. Cuttputli. The Diplomat. Bade Miyan Chote Miyan. And more…
Let me introduce to you the talented designer duo who have worked on these, and can be considered today’s upcoming costume designers for the screen. Gunpreet Kaur Mann and Deepali Singh.
Having studied at NIFT, Gunpreet Kaur Mann sent her portfolio out to several designers. Her first gig was as an assistant stylist with Manoshi and Rushi, who also happen to be a designer duo. She worked on an ad film starring Saif Ali Khan and eventually landed a full time job with designer Vikram Phadnis. Years of experience as assistant costume designer followed, which eventually led her to getting a break.
A ‘thank you’ makes a lot of difference in the way any woman in your life sees herself in your eyes. It might even mean the world to her.
I have not received any appreciation in the past. Probably never will. This is the experience of ample women across the globe. The expectation to be thanked for all the sacrifices she makes to keep others happy has faded. Yet the urge to hear few words of acknowledgement always lingers.
There is never a day when she pushes off her own burdens. She knows not to give up on people she loves. Women in general, are givers by nature and hence, give without asking anything in return. They have been the care givers and lovers since centuries however receive no appreciation.
It will mean the world to your mother if you answer her calls. If your sister seems lost give her a hug and assure her about her strengths. Tomorrow, there might come a day when you would have to make your daughter feel empowered with few words of wisdom every now and then. For the children to feel wanted and loved, you must be able to spare some quality time with your wife and be present in the moment.
Please enter your email address