Capt. Swati Raval rescued 263 stranded Indians from Rome

Captain Swati Raval rescued 263 Indians from Rome during the Covid outbreak

What lies ahead is a love story. Love for the country, love for one’s duty and love for the fellow Indian citizens.

Termed as Woman of the Year 2020, by Vogue India, Captain Swati Raval, flying for Air India, undertook a mission, piloting back hundreds of stranded fellow Indians, during the COVID-19 outbreak and became the first female civil pilot to go on a rescue operation. On 22nd March, she along with Captain Raja Chauhan, airlifted 263 Indian in Boeing 777, mostly students, from Rome during the Corona virus pandemic.

In her interaction with Humans of Bombay, she opened up about her experience of the flight and how she said yes to the assignment. She also shared how she was informed about the 263 stranded Indians and was asked to pilot the flight from Rome. She further added that she had 5 seconds to make a decision and all she could think about was her 5 year old son and 18 month old daughter. But later the thought of those 263 Indians desperately waiting to get back to their families made her agree. And she left the very next day kissing her kids goodbye.

Swati Raval who rescued 263 Indians from Rome with her daughter
Source: Humans of Bombay

But in life, any story cannot be all roses. Even the likes of Captain Raval had to face discrimination at the hands of few residents because they returned from the Covid affected countries. Air India, in a press release, complained that in many localities, its crew members were being ostracized by few vigilante Resident Welfare Association and neighbours, obstructing them from performing their duty and even calling in the police, simply because the crew travelled abroad in the course of their duty. It is very disheartening to see that few people had to be reminded of the fact that crew members like Captain Raval, were discharging their duties as selflessly as any doctors or nurses for the safety of their fellow Indians. Air India in the press release states that

These vigilantes have conveniently forgotten that many a spouse, parent, sibling, child and near and dear one have been brought home safe and secure from affected countries, thanks to the heroic efforts of these Air India crew.

And then came an honour coveted by many which can make any person proud of their efforts. Indian Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi and Aviation Minister, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri hailed the Air India crew for their utmost dedication towards their duty. Mr. Modi in a tweet, lauded the crew members for rising to the call of humanity.

That is truly an incredible achievement for any citizen. The strong willed, Swati, in an interview to Vogue India, shared a special message for all the women.

Women are always born with wings—you just have to fly.

Souce: VOGUE India
Captain Swati Raval rescued 263 stranded Indians from Rome during the Covid outbreak
Souce: Twitter

We believe that the every Indian citizen will forever be indebted to the fighters like Captain Raval, for their services in one of the most uncertain times in the recent past.

Signing off now, stay tuned for similar information about events, which gives us hope of a better world for our future generations. See you all in our next episode.

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