Recently, the netizens hailed Captain Shivani Kalra as a real hero as her inspiring act of bringing back Indian students stuck in the crisis-hit Ukraine surfaced over the internet.
The Air India pilot and her family were preparing for her brother’s wedding when she received a call and was asked to join the evacuation process. When she was asked if she was willing to be a part of Operation Ganga and evacuate students from Ukraine? She didn’t even take a moment and said – “Yes!”
Within a few days, Captain Shivani and her team have managed to bring back more than 250 Indian students home. These students had taken shelter in Romania and Hungary after fleeing Ukraine.
Recollecting her experience, the pilot said in an Instagram post: “We reached the destination where students were waiting for us. Their scared faces turned into smiles on seeing us. We got them seated and assured them that they would reach home safely. That day, we evacuated 249 Indian students from Budapest, Romania.”
The video which has now gone viral shows, Captain Shivani Kalra operating an evacuation flight from Budapest. While sharing the details of the proud moment, she mentioned: “When we landed in Delhi, every individual present there was clapping. I came out of the gate and saw the families cheering for us. I felt overwhelmed and proud. Amongst those cheering, the loudest were my parents who said, ‘Shabash!’”
Even though Captain Shivani’s parents were worried about her but they didn’t stop their daughter from such an inspiring act. Instead, they told her: “‘You aren’t just bringing citizens back, you’re reuniting families. Make us proud and come back safely!'”
The group of students had left Ukraine’s Uzhhorod for the Hungary border and reached Budapest Monday morning. Over 240 Indian students were evacuated via the Air India flight, they arrived in Delhi at 6 pm.
She told The Indian Express, she is “proud to have been a part of the process”. And, further speaking about the struggle, she mentioned: “It usually doesn’t happen but when I left home last night, my mother came and hugged me. She was a bit emotional. I have been part of evacuation and rescue flights during Covid times but I guess the news of war scared them. My brother and father were anxious and called me as soon as I landed,”
At IFORHER, we are in awe of Captain Shivani’s brave attempt and wish her luck in all her future endeavors.