Who was the First Woman to receive Ashoka Chakra
The first Indian woman who received the Ashoka Chakra was Neerja Bhanot.
About Neerja Bhanot
Neerja Bhanot was born on 7th of September in 1963 in Chandigarh, India to the Rama Bhanot and Harish Bhanot (a journalist in Mumbai) and died on 5th of September in 1986 in Karachi, Pakistan. She was a flight assistant for the Pan Am Mumbai, India. She got her education from the “Sacred Heart Senior Secondary School Chandigarh, Bombay Scottish School and St. Xavier’s College Mumbai”. She got married in the month of March in 1985 however, because of some problem she lived to her parent’s home in Mumbai. She was killed by the terrorists in the hijacked Pan Am Flight 73 while saving the passengers.
How Neerja Bhanot became the First Woman to receive Ashoka Chakra
She had applied for the job of flight attendant and became a senior flight assistant on the Pan Am Flight 73. A day this flight was hijacked at 5 am by the terrorists (Abu Nidal Organization) when landed at Karachi from Mumbai. They were killing the American passengers; suddenly they instructed Bhanot to gather all passengers passport in order to easily identify Americans. She then hid around 19 Americans passports under a seat. Some hours after, they started asking for passports. Bhanot was helping passengers to escape from the emergency door however she could not escaped herself while saving three children. She became famous worldwide by the title of “the heroine of the hijack” and became the youngest Ashok Chakra Award recipient.
Achievements of Neerja Bhanot as a First Indian Woman to receive Ashoka Chakra
- She became the first Indian youngest woman who received the Ashoka Chakra for her bravery to face enemy by the Government of India.
- Government of India released an Indian Postal Service in the year 2004 to commemorate her.
- The Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust has been set up in the memory of her with the help of her parents.
- A Neerja Bhanot Chowk in Mumbai is named after her.
What is Ashoka Chakra
The Ashok Chakra is a most prestigious bravery award of the Indian given to the military or civilian personnel of bravery action during the peace time. It was first started in 1952 on 4th of January as the Ashoka Chakra. It has been started by the central government to pay Rs. 1400 (in Jammu and Kashmir, the amount is Rs. 1500) as a monthly stipend to the recipient of Ashoka Chakra from 1st of February 1999.