Uniforms have been Aanchal Gangwal’s passion right from childhood, perhaps because her hometown happens to have a key training academy for CRPF. The 23-year-old daughter of a tea seller from this small district in Madhya Pradesh is all set to take off in a big way as a flying officer in the Indian Air Force (IAF).
After briefly working as a labour inspector with the state government and then as a sub-inspector with police, she has already proved her merit for her new assignment. From among the 123 cadets in the Air Force Academy in Dindigul, Aanchal was awarded the President’s Plaque at the combined graduation parade on Saturday.
She does have one regret. Her parents Suresh and Babita Gangwal could not attend the passing out parade due to this year’s restrictions caused by the pandemic. Suresh had to quit his studies at the secondary school to support the family. But during her home visit in December she had met them.
Suresh recalls how Aaanchal would occasionally come to the tea stall and help him and also complete her homework on the side.
Aanchal recalled how her parents strove hard all through their life to ensure that their three children– two daughters and one son — were provided with all necessary amenities. Aanchal has always been a fighter.
She said: “When I was a school kid, I had decided to be in the defence.”