Here's Why You Need to Know About Sarla Thakral, India's First Female Pilot

Well, for starters, she was just 21 when she flew a Gypsy Moth Solo between Karachi and Lahore...




Back in the time when it was a rarity for women to even get educated, Sarla Thakral became India's first ​female pilot in 1936.

Going back to the time of 1930's in India,  women had to think twice before stepping out of their homes but here's the story of Sarla Thakral who became India's first women to fly an aircraft in 1936.

She got married at the age of 16 into the family which had nine pilots. While this move could've meant the end of her freedom and aspirations, her father-in-law and husband encouraged her to follow her dream to fly.

At the age of 21 when Sarla was a mother of a four year old daughter, she obtained the aviation pilot license and became India's  first female pilot. 

Not just this, she also became the ​first lady pilot in the country to get 'A' license after completing 1000 hours of flying and flew a ​Gypsy Moth Solo between Karachi and Lahore​.

Even though, Sarla's husband husband passed away in1939 and circumstances forced her to give up her dream, she continued to live life in her stride. "After my first husband died in a crash in 1939, I went to Jodhpur to get a commercial pilot's licence. Unfortunately World War II broke out and flying was suspended. I returned to Lahore, and joined Mayo School of Arts where I trained in the Bengal school of painting and obtained a diploma in fine arts," she had shared in an interview.

After partition, she shifted with her two daughters to Delhi and got remarried. She went on learning block printing, costume and jewellery designing. Later, she started designing for National School of Drama and continued painting as well. 

Sarla, fondly called as Mati, became a successful entrepreneur and passed away in 2009.

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