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February 17, 2016

8 Facts about India’s Youngest Braveheart – Neerja Bhanot

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“Her loyalties to the passengers of the aircraft in distress will forever be a lasting tribute to the finest qualities of the human spirit” – Ashok Chakra citation When you call a woman the weaker sex then it is indeed a libel a man’s prejudice to woman. Among us there
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“Her loyalties to the passengers of the aircraft in distress will forever be a lasting tribute to the finest qualities of the human spirit” – Ashok Chakra citation

When you call a woman the weaker sex then it is indeed a libel a man’s prejudice to woman. Among us there are women who have not only brought laurels to our country but gave up their lives doing so. We bring you one such story of braveheart, the hijack heroine, Neerja Bhanot.

We all are curious to watch Azhar and Dhoni and we get very excited when our favorite celeb or cricketer receives an award but this Friday, lets salute to this lesser known celeb.

#1 Neerja was born and brought up in Chandigarh.

The family later on moved to Mumbai. She graduated from the St. Xavier’s College. She lived with her two brothers; her Hindustan Times journalist father and home maker mom.

#2 She got married at a young age

Neerja had no plans to become an air hostess. She got married and moved to Gulf with her husband. Destiny had some other plans for her. Her marriage was short-lived and she returned to India.

#3 She decided to pursue a career

The divorce did not weaken her. She became a model and did several advertisements before becoming an air hostess. She went to USA to become an air hostess with Pan Am airways. She returned as a purser.

#4 She had no help

The cock-pit crew were the first to escape. The hijackers boarded the plane as security personals. When Neerja alerted the pilot, co-pilot and engineer – they escaped via the cock-pit hatch. Neerja was the senior most person left on the plane.

#5 She saved 360 lives aboard the Pan Am flight 73

She realized the lives of American passengers were in danger and decided to hide the passports. After 17 hours, terrorists open fired which led Neerja to open the emergency door. She helped passengers escape and was shot while protecting three children.

#6 Only individual honored by 3 countries

Neerja is internationally recognized as The heroine of the hijack’. The Government of India posthumously conferred on her the Ashok Chakra which is India’s highest gallantry award. She is the youngest recipient to get this award at the age of 23. Other awards:

  • Flight Safety Foundation Heroism Award, USA,
  • Tamgha-e-Insaaniyat-Pakistan,
  • Justice for Crimes Award,
  • Special Courage award, US Govt. and
  • Indian Civil Aviation Ministry’s Award

#7 Other Accolades

In the year 2004, commemorating her, a stamp was released. A square in Ghatkopar is also named after her.

#8 And she continues to help..

Neerja’s parents made use of the insurance money and payment from Pan Am to set up the Neerja Bhanot Pan Am Trust. Apart from this one award for a flight crew who acts beyond their call of duty and one to an Indian woman who, helps other women when they are in social distress.

Let’s give this brave heart a tribute. Watch Sonam Kapoor’s Neerja in theatres this weekend.

Feature Image Source: http://www.gravifynews.com

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