Pune, 8th February 2024: Khushi, a second-year BSc student at Fergusson College, Pune, emerged as the best all-India senior girls’ NCC cadet at the Republic Day Parade in New Delhi this year. This achievement was not just a moment of glory but a realization of a dream sparked by a brief interaction with fighter pilots during a visit to the Naval air station around four years ago.
Originally from New Delhi, Khushi, who prefers to be addressed by her first name only, is an air wing cadet of NCC Group HQ in Pune. The catalyst for her aspiration to become a fighter pilot occurred during a visit to INS Garuda in Kochi when she was in Standard IX. Her father, now a retired Master Chief Petty Officer (MCPO) with the Indian Navy, facilitated her interaction with fighter and helicopter pilots during that visit.
“I also had the opportunity to sit in the helicopter. That moment solidified my decision to pursue a career as a fighter pilot in the Indian Air Force. Joining NCC became a stepping stone toward my goal. Today, I am thrilled and proud to be recognized as the best NCC girl cadet,” Khushi shared.
Apart from this prestigious accolade, Khushi also served as the Master of Ceremony for the Republic Day Camp. The process of selecting air cadets in the 3 Maharashtra Air Squadron of NCC Group HQ is conducted meticulously, providing cadets with exposure to flying microlight aircraft.
“Khushi demonstrated a strong understanding of flying and other NCC training aspects, which is why she could deliver her best,” stated Group Captain Abhijit Khedkar, the commanding officer (CO) of the squadron.