Neerja Bhanot, A young, fighter, brave, beautiful and a dynamic Air Hostess who died at the age of 23 years, while saving the lives of 360 people stranded with her on a hijacked plane. Is an inspiration for everyone one in the modern times as well. It feels an emenace proud that, She is an Indian Woman who saved so many lives without bother about her own life. Her scarific was deadly.
Who was Neerja Bhanot?
Neerja was born on 7th september 1963 at Chandigarh, Punjab(India). She was ther daughter of Harish Bhanot, A Mumbai based journalist and mother Rama Bhanot. Later on her family moved to Mumbai from Punjab. Neerja first finished her schooling in Punjab. And when her family moved to Mumbai, she contiuned her further studies in Mumbai. It was when Neerja was first spotted for a modelling assignment which began her career in Modelling. Neerja was married at early stage in the year 1985. It was an arranged marriage, but her marriage didnt workout and she had to return to her parents house.
After her breakup, Neerja decided to join ‘Pan Am (Pan American World Airways)” as Air Hostess. She was just 22 when she died, one of the worst hijacks in human history.
How she saved 360 lives :
Four heavily armed terrorists entered at the Pan Am Flight 73 and hijacked it when it was parked on the Airport in Karachi, Pakistan. Neerja was scheduled on that flight as the Senior Flight Pursuer and she was very adamant about saving the lives of passengers on the flight.
The four armed terrorists were the part of extremist group known with the name of Abu Nidal Organization. The terrorists aimed to kill all the Americans on the plane. The crew member of the plane included of three American pilots but they escaped as soon as the plane was hijacked, leaving “Neerja Bhanot as the most senior officer on the plane.
Terrorists advised Neerja to collect the passports of all the passengers on the flight and help them identify Americans. Neerja was adamant about saving every single life on the plane. She was well aware that there were 41 Americans on the plane; she hid the passports of these people beneath the seat, under the dustbins and bags in order to avoid identification.
Neerja Bhanot was brave enough to find opportunity and open door of the flight and let as many people escape as she can. She would have jumped first and saved she from the bad fate but she decided to stay back and help everyone on the flight.
She had to take an array of bullets when trying to shield three kids from the bullets of terrorists. Varied International News Agencies called “Neerja Bhanot the Queen of Flights”. Her sacrifice has inspired many a people to do good for others.
After the Hijack:
“Neerja Bhanot” is the youngest recipient of India’s highest bravery Gallantry award Ashok Chakra. Following years, Indian Post released stamps on her name in 2004. Her parents and Pan Am together built a trust that gives two awards each year.
We as Indian feel very blessed to have such “A Dynamic Heroine” is our real lives. Though she no more with us, But her scarific will be in a our Hearts Forever Sealed.