Women officers represent India at Riyadh Defence show

New Delhi: Indian women from the Tri-Service were representing the country at the World Defence Show (WDS), currently being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

WDS 2024 witnessed Tri-Service women representation, a testament to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led government’s vision of leveraging Nari Shakti across domains.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said that Squadron Leader Bhawana Kanth, Colonel Ponung Doming and Lieutenant Commander Annu Prakash represented the Armed Forces in the various seminars of the WDS 2024, especially in the International Women in Defence themed events.

On February 7, Squadron Leader Bhawana Kanth, a fighter pilot from the Indian Air Force, took centre stage as a panellist at the seminar titled ‘International Women in Defence – Investing in an Inclusive Future’, hosted by Saudi Ambassador to the US Princess Reema bint Bandar Al-Saud.

The Squadron Leader shared her inspiring journey of breaking barriers and soaring through the skies, thus becoming a part of the revered fighter pilot club in India. Her insights on leadership, resilience and the evolving role of women in modern warfare resonated with the diverse audience, who were impressed to know about her journey. She is the first woman fighter pilot to take part in the Republic Day Parade (2021). She also participated in the Republic Day 2024 Flypast, officials added.

Colonel Ponung Doming from the Indian Army is the first woman officer to command the world’s highest Border Task Force located above 15,000 feet in the Northern sector with multiple firsts to her credit in over 20 years of service. She has been at the forefront of many challenging assignments being an Engineering officer, the MoD added.

Lieutenant Commander Annu Prakash of the Indian Navy brought her expertise in maritime security and operations to the forefront. Her participation underscored the crucial role women play in safeguarding India’s vast coastline and ensuring regional stability. Her presence at the event helped in fostering stronger ties and collaboration between India and other nations in the maritime domain, said the MoD.

The Ministry of Defence said that participation of these three exceptional women officers at the WDS 2024 served as a testament to the growing role of Indian women in the defence landscape. The trio will deliver an inspirational talk about their remarkable journey at International Indian School, Riyadh on Thursday to about 600 school children from various schools.

The event will serve as a platform in showcasing the diverse talents and leadership skills of Indian women in uniform, inspiring future generations to follow their dreams and cover new grounds.

The WDS 2024, commenced on February 4 and will culminate on Thursday.

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