India's First Lady Pilot


The year 1936 when the flying was like dream, flying in air was like miracle. There were only male in the cockpit of the airplane. At that time one lady entered the cockpit of a Gypsy Moth and flew into the blue skies, and made a history as India’s first lady pilot.

The dashing, courageous, Sarla Thakral. She was only 21 year old when she achieved that sky. She had a four-year-old daughter. After obtaining the initial licence, she persevered on and completed one thousand hours of flying in the aircraft owned by the Lahore Flying Club. Her husband P. D. Sharma comes from a family which had 9 pilots, encouraged her to achieve it. She was the first Indian to get airmail pilot’s licence and flew between Karachi and Lahore.
While she was working towards the commercial pilot license in 1939, World War II broke out and civil training was suspended. Sarla, also known as Mati, became a successful businesswoman, painter and began designing clothes and costume jewellery. She died in 2009.