In the vibrant history of aviation, Sarla Thakral emerges as a pioneering figure who fearlessly defied societal norms. Her remarkable journey culminated in her becoming first female pilot in India, a testament to her unwavering commitment and passion. Her exceptional transition from an aspiring dreamer to a successful aviator vividly showcases her resolute determination to break down gender barriers.
Early Life of First Female Pilot of India, Sarla Thakral
Birth date: 8th August 1914
Birth place: Delhi
Born in 1914, Sarla Thukral achieved an aviation pilot license in 1936 at 21, flying solo in a Gypsy Moth. She persisted, logging a thousand hours of flying owned by Lahore Flying Club. Married at 16 to P.D. Sharma, who hailed from a family of nine pilots, his support boosted her ambitions.
Sarla Thukral’s story is one of courage and determination. While her husband, P.D. Sharma, became the first Indian to hold an airmail pilot’s license, Sarla herself was a trailblazer in aviation. In a time when few women dared to fly, she made history. Sarla became one of the first Indian women to earn A license.
Unfortunately, tragedy struck Sarla’s life when her husband, P.D. Sharma, died in a plane crash in 1939. This was a heartbreaking event for her. Despite the sadness, Sarla didn’t let go of her dreams. She aspired to become a commercial pilot, but her plans were put on hold due to the outbreak of World War II. Civil aviation training was suspended during this time.
A New Path Unfolds in the life of Sarla Thukral
With responsibilities to raise her child and the need to support herself, Sarla decided to take a different path. She turned her attention to her artistic side. She returned to Lahore and enrolled at the Mayo School of Art. Here, she learned about the Bengal School of Painting and her talent blossomed. Her dedication paid off as she earned a diploma in fine arts.
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Sarla Thukral’s life teaches us that setbacks cannot extinguish determination. She proved that even in the face of challenges, one can find new directions. While she couldn’t pursue her dream of being a commercial pilot, she soared to new heights in the world of arts. Her story reminds us that our journey might take unexpected turns, but with resilience, we can still achieve remarkable things.