Today we will talk about the heroism of a young woman from India which stirred the people of the nation and the whole planet to voice thanks as did Mirinda in The Tempest for a world "that hath such people in it!" She was a combination of beauty and bravery.
Neerja, a flight attendant on the Pan Am hijacking at Karachi gave us inspiration by self-sacrifice.
The flight was carrying, among members of various nationalities e.g. Indians, Germans, Americans, and Pakistanis. Unfortunately, the worst happened and the flight was hijacked while it was parked on the tarmac at Jinnah International Airport in Karachi.
Four heavily armed terrorists, dressed as airport security guards, entered the aircraft while firing shots from an automatic weapon and seized control of the plane at Karachi Airport. One terrorist had a machine gun in hand, the other one had grenades and belt full of bullets and the other two had many guns and grenades in hand.Everyone was told to have hand locked above their head. In no time, Neerja Bhanot the senior flight purser informed the cockpit and told Captain and its crew member to flee the aircraft. Terrorists kept on shouting and screaming at passengers in Arabic and continued firing shots in the air. Except Neerja, all other air hostesses were tied up with the ropes. Neerja was used as a communicator between terrorist and airlines.
There were more than 350 passenger’s in the plane. To scare the people in the plane they even shot dead a Person of Indian Origin named Rakesh Kumar and threw him out of the plane. Then they started collecting passenger's passports. When Neerja realised that the primary targets of the terrorists were American passengers, she hid their passports – even discarding some of them down the rubbish chute. From a total of 41 American passengers, only 2 were killed. After holding passengers and crew members hostage for 17 hours on the runway, the terrorists opened fire. Neerja stayed on the plane to help passengers escape, even though she could have been the first to leave. She was shot while shielding three children from the bullets being fired by the terrorists. Hence, in the final bloodbath at the end of the hijacking, Neerja was killed. It was two days before her twenty-third birthday!
Neerja Bhanot’s family suffered an unbearable loss when they lost their only daughter.
Neerja chose to respond to the actions of the terrorists with exceptional grace, courage, and grit. Of the 380 passengers and crew members on Flight 73, 20 were killed.
While many others were injured, they did survive – in no small part due to the actions of a 22-year-old flight attendant who chose compassion over cowardice and performed her duty till the very end.
Hijacking could fail only because Neerja alerted the pilots to escape and hence the terrorists were stuck on the ground.
She was, at so early an age, the senior flight purser. But Neerja, who radiated both cheer and concern, has left a mark on everyone who knew her and many of the rest of us.
For her actions on the day of the hijacking, Neerja Bhanot was posthumously awarded the Ashok Chakra, India’s highest peacetime military decoration for the “most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent valour or self-sacrifice”, and the Tamgha-e-Insaniyat, awarded by the Pakistan government for showing incredible kindness. She also posthumously received multiple awards for her courage from the United States government.
So, Inspirational part for us is that her work proves that we all have braveness and talent that comes out when we are in a situation of extreme. When a 22 year girl from India can have courage do so much for everyone else, then why can't we do something for us at least? Why can't we give our day and night to crack an examination? Is it so difficult to dedicate ourselves for 6 months or an year towards study? NO! IT IS NOT SO!! IF YOU HAVE ZEAL INSIDE, YOU CAN DO THIS!
So, GET! SET! READY! FOR THE COMING EXAMS AND CRACK THEM!!
All the best! Make us Proud!