They say no dream is too big if you really want something. For 24-year-old Anchal Gangwal, that dream was to join the Indian Air Force (IAF). A few days ago, Anchal was commissioned into the IAF as a flying officer. But it has not been an easy journey.
Anchal hails from a family of modest means, and her father runs a tea stall in Neemuch, Madhya Pradesh. She has lived through times when her father could not even afford to pay the fees for her education.
"Her commissioning was a proud moment for our family, but we could not make it (to the Air Force Academy at Dundigal) to see her due to the coronavirus-induced restrictions," her father Suresh Gangwal told Press Trust of India.
According to Suresh, his daughter had dreamt of joining the IAF after seeing the bravery of its personnel in helping people during the 2013 Kedarnath tragedy. Given the family's limited resources, it wasn't easy to help her realise her dreams. But Suresh said that his daughter was determined.
"She was a bright student and also a basketball player. She first wished to join the Air Force after seeing the IAF personnel helping people during the Kedarnath tragedy. And, now her dream has come true," he said. In fact, Anchal bagged the President's Plaque at the combined graduation parade held at the Air Force Academy in Hyderabad.
MP: Aanchal Gangwal,a tea seller's daughter,makes it to flying branch of Air Force, being the only candidate from MP to clear the admn test for the yr. Says, 'When I was in class 12 I was inspired with Armed Forces' rescue ops during Uttarakhand flood. So decided to join defence. pic.twitter.com/xVKheOfcZ0— ANI (@ANI) June 23, 2018
Once she set her mind to it, Anchal started collecting information from bookstalls on how she could join the defence force and started preparations in that direction. "She was determined and got success in the sixth attempt," added Suresh.
However, Suresh still remembers the struggles of supporting his daughter while dealing with massive financial struggles. "One can understand my financial condition. At times, I faced problems in depositing her school or college fee. I had to borrow money from others on many occasions to deposit the fee. Sometimes I had to pretend to be out of town to delay fees deposition," he said.
Well, we are glad that Anchal and Suresh never game up and finally realised their dream!
Meanwhile, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chouhan took to Twitter to congratulate Anchal and her family for making the state proud. "Anchal, daughter of Suresh Gangwal, who runs a tea shop in Neemuch, will now fly the fighter plane in the Air Force. Daughter Anchal, who made Madhya Pradesh proud, will now fly in the heights of the infinite sky to protect the pride and honour of the country. Congratulations, blessings and best wishes to the daughter," he wrote.
Keep aiming for the sky Anchal, you have inspired so many young women in the country to follow in your footsteps!
Featured Image: Twitter