The coronavirus outbreak, which has been categorised as a global pandemic, has brought the world to a complete standstill. A total of 82 districts of India are under lockdown in an effort to curb the spread of the deadly virus. And the worst part is, a large number of Indian citizens have been stranded outside their country, unable to come home. Fortunately for them, the government has been quick to undertake rescue operations for our citizens stranded abroad.
One country where the outbreak became severe very quickly was Italy. And Indians stuck in Italy desperately wanted to leave and return home. Enter Captain Swati Raval, the Air India pilot who led the rescue operation, and airlifted 263 Indians from Rome to Delhi.
After this mission, Captain Raval became the first female civil pilot in India to undertake and successfully complete a rescue operation. With a total flying experience of 15 years, this mother had harboured dreams of becoming a fighter pilot. However, since the Indian Air Force didn't allow women back then, she decided to become a commercial pilot instead.
Twitter users could not help but express their gratitude and how proud they are of her. Even PM Narendra Modi and Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Hardeep Singh Puri, took to the microblogging platform to congratulate her. Here's what the Twitterverse is saying:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going.— Hardeep Singh Puri (@HardeepSPuri) March 22, 2020
The crew of @airindiain Boeing 777 led by Capt Swati Raval & Capt Raja Chauhan responded to the call of duty & displayed exemplary determination by airlifting 263 Indians, mostly students, stranded in Rome. pic.twitter.com/JfqC7kwmGG
Extremely proud of this team of @airindiain, which has shown utmost courage and risen to the call of humanity. Their outstanding efforts are admired by several people across India. #IndiaFightsCorona https://t.co/I7Czxep7bj— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) March 23, 2020
The commitment and compassion of Capt Swati Raval & Capt Raja Chauhan and the entire crew of @airindiain Boeing 777 is unmatched!— Gautam Chintamani (@GChintamani) March 22, 2020
The families of the ones they flew and the entire nation owes them a great debt.
Salute Capt. Swati Raval, Capt. Raja Chauhan and the crew of @airindiain, for keeping the call of duty above all else. Airlifting 263 Indians stranded in Rome, the team deserves every bit of admiration and appreciation for their humanitarian efforts. #IndiaFightsCorona https://t.co/cZGC22cc2z— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) March 23, 2020
absolutely fabulous. I will be clanking double hard for her— barkha dutt (@BDUTT) March 22, 2020
I congratulate my wife Capt Swati Raval to become first civil women pilot to operate rescue flight @airindiain AI122 from Rome to Delhi to rescue 263 indian students. Really proud #CoronavirusPandemic @umashankarsingh @fayedsouza @BDUTT @ravishndtv @ndtvindia @aajtak— Ajit Kumar Bhardwaj (@AjitKumarAIPC) March 22, 2020
The Commander of the Air India 777 flew to Rome to rescue 265 Indians was a brave woman Captain Swati Raval. She is the mother of a t year old child.Salute to Swati and Woman power!! pic.twitter.com/Qsfi9tqTLe— CA Ranjeet K Agarwal (@CaRANJEET) March 22, 2020
We're grateful for heroes like Captain Raval, who put their lives on the line to serve the nation during a time of distress. Captain Raval is a great inspiration for little girls growing up in India, and we hope many young girls decide to walk in her footsteps.
Featured Image: Twitter