A young woman from a rural village in Jammu and Kashmir's Rajouri district has been chosen for training for grant of a short service commission in the Indian Air Force's (IAF) AE(L) branch. Tahirah Rehman, the daughter of honorary captain Abdul Rehman, lives in Khodbani in Khawas Tehsil, which is 145 kilometres from Rajouri.
Tahirah Rehman is the first Gujjar female from Jammu and Kashmir to be chosen as an Indian Air Force flying officer. After flying officer Maya Sudan of the Lamberi village, she is the second from the Rajouri district. "My husband served the nation for 30 years and my children also want to serve the nation. My daughter has worked very hard. I am thankful to the people here for their constant support. I am very happy and wish like my daughter other children of this district make their parents proud," Rehman's mother Rakia Begum said.
Irshad Begum, Tahirah's cousin sister said, "This is the most backward area of Rajouri district. There is no school in our village and for our education, we have to travel far. Her mother used to take her to school till class 5. She always wanted to become a pilot in the Indian Air Force and today she has achieved her dreams. She is the first girl from the Gujjar community to do so."
Irshad went on to say that the people in the area, from all communities, are proud of her accomplishment. "They had made their way four km to a hilltop to be a part of this celebration," she said. Liyakat Ali, a local citizen, called Tahirah's selection a great moment for their village and said that everyone is overjoyed. Another local resident expressed his joy and said that the area is quite backward and Tahirah had accomplished a great deal.
"I feel proud very proud today. My daughter had to travel four to five km every day to reach school till class 5. My daughter is the first girl from our community to become a flying officer from Jammu and Kashmir from Rajouri district," said Tahirah's father.
Shivanghi Kant, Rajouri district's child protection legal officer said that it was a proud occasion for the entire district and the country. "Today boys and girls are moving forward equally and making the nation proud. Becoming a pilot is not common especially for girls from backward villages. We feel very proud to see a village girl doing something different. I congratulate her for her success and wish in the future also she makes our country and the district proud," Kant said.