Sarla Thakral - The first Indian woman to fly

Updated: Dec 14, 2020


Sarla Thakral, earned her aviation pilot license at age 21

Sarla Thakral ( 8 August 1914- 15 March 2008), was the first Indian woman at a very young age to fly an airplane and receive an aviation pilot's license. She was just 21 years old when she received her pilot's license. She was the mother of a four-year-old child. She flew a Gypsy Moth solo and was wrapped in a saree, back when feminism and women's liberation were still just hypothetical words.


“Always be happy, it is very important for us to be happy and cheerful. This one motto has seen me tide over the crises in my life.” - Sarla Thakral

By the age of 16, she was married. PD Sharma, her husband, had nine pilots in his family and inspired Sarla to fly. After 1,000 hours of active

flight, she received Licence A. The first Indian pilot to receive a pilot's license to fly between Karachi and Lahore was her husband. Unfortunately, in a plane crash in 1939, Sarla lost her husband.


She returned to Lahore and entered the Mayo School of Arts and obtained a diploma in fine arts. She married PP Thakral, and then moved to Delhi. Sarla has succeeded in establishing herself as a respected painter and has been providing her jewelry designs for over 20 years.


Her life was not easy, but still, Sarala lived her life to perfection, thanks to her limitless determiniation . She has been through all stages of life and travel in all ups and downs. For many women, she was a true inspiration. And in the later years of her life, she was just as interested in publishing. Sarla became a wealthy businesswoman, a painter, and started designing clothing and costume jewelry.salute to her, for being a strong and inspirational woman.

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