Sarla Thukral was India’s first woman pilot. Born in 1914, Thukral became the first woman to accomplish an ‘A’ grade license after 1,000 hours of flying.
She got her aviation license when she was only 21. Married at the age of 16, Thukral was the mother of a 4-year-old when she created history.
Thukral was a student of the Lahore Flying Club in pre-partition times. She went to Jodhpur for commercial pilot training after her husband died in a plane crash in 1939.
However, her dream to become a commercial pilot stopped because of the announcement of World War 2.
Thereafter, she went back to Lahore and studied fine art and painting at Mayo School of Arts (now the National College of Arts).
After the partition, she came back to Delhi and got married to RP Thukral in 1948. Thukral built a successful career in designing jewellery and clothing.