While many of us have the luxury to stay at home with our families, there are a few brave souls who are putting their lives at risk to save the life of fellow countrymen against Coronavirus.
One such brave soul is Captain Swati Rawal.
A few months back, when Italy was struggling with increasing cases of Coronavirus, Capt. Swati Rawal along with Capt. Raja Chauhan airlifted 263 Indians stranded in Rome. They displayed how true heroes respond to their call of duty during tough times.
Recently, Swati shared her inspiring story of how she had to leave behind two kids to save the lives of 263 people. While sharing it with HoB, Swati mentioned:
“On March 20th, I got a call from my team saying that I had to pilot a flight from Delhi to Rome the next day–it was a rescue flight to get 263 Indian passengers trapped in Rome back to Delhi.
I had 5 seconds to answer him, and all I could think about was my 5 year old son and 18 month old daughter. The memory of my daughter falling sick a few months before, while I was flying, made me hesitant. But the thought of those 263 Indians desperately waiting to go back home to their families made me agree. So I gathered courage and said, ‘Yes, I will pilot this flight’.
I left the next day, kissing my kids goodbye. When my crew and I boarded the flight, I realised that it was the eeriest evening of my life–there were no passengers on the flight; just 8 hours of silence.
But after the passengers in Rome boarded the flight, the vibe instantly changed. For a brief moment, it felt like the pandemic never existed. After landing, the passengers cheered for us before leaving the plane. A passenger even said, ‘I never thought a flight home would mean so much’. I felt his excitement to be with his family; After all, I was heading back to mine.
After what felt like a rescue mission, I headed home. But returning to my family after that flight was different. When my son ran to hug me as I entered, I had to stop him and tell him, ‘Mumma can’t hug you’. When my baby girl saw me, she had a huge smile on her face as she waddled her way to me–but my husband had to pick her up and take her away. She screamed and cried–it broke my heart.
I had to isolate for 14 days before I could meet both my kids. In those 14 days, my daughter couldn’t stay away from me. Any chance she got, she tried sneaking into my room. It became a game, where I’d run and she’d try to catch me. It was the best way to explain the situation to my baby.
But after isolating, when I finally got to hold my kids, I felt what those passengers must have felt–an ache to be close to loved ones. And if it means that we can bring families together, I’m ready to pilot as many flights as it takes to bring my fellow Indians home, safe and sound.”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Captain Swati and her courage. We are proud of her for making the decision to pilot the flight and to bring back so many people to their loved ones. She has done a fabulous job and we wish her more success & happiness.
In times, when people are forgetting humanity, Coronawarriors like her are not only restoring our faith in mankind but also make us proud of being a woman!