A commemorative postage stamp on the Indian Women Aviators : Indian Women Pilots Association (IWPA) :
Issued by India
Issued on Oct 5, 1998
Issued for : The Department of Posts is happy to issue this special postage stamp to commemorate the contribution of Indian Women in the field of aviation.
Stamp & FDC : J.P. Irani
Cancellation : Alka Sharma
Type : First Day Cover
Colour : Single Colour
Denomination : 800 Paise
Overall size : 4.06 x 2.73 cms.
Printing size : 3.71 x 2.38 cms.
Perforation : 13 x 13
Paper : Imported un w/m adhesive gravure coated stamp paper in sheets 50.8 x 53.5 cms.
Stamps Printed : 0.7 Million
Number per issue sheet : 40
Printing Process : Photogravure
Printer : India Security Press, Nashik
- Aviation in its infancy, was male-oriented and only a few daring women ventured to wing their way across the skies. Mrs. Urmila K. Parekh was the first Indian woman to obtain Pilot’s License, in 1930. The photograph was published in the magazine “Indian Aviation” in July 1931 issue, as the first Hindu woman to receive an air pilot’s license. After the country achieved independence, Indian women successfully competed for the top professional careers in all fields, including aviation. Some of the major achievement stories are:–
1947 – First to get Commercial pilot’s license and to fly domestic airlines – Prem Mathur
1956 – First Pilot of Indian Airlines – Durba Banerjee
1985 – First Captain in the WORLD to fly All-Women-Crew, IATA schedule flight on F-27, November 1985; First Captain in Asia to fly All-Women-Crew on A-320, 1995 – Saudamini Deshmukh
1995 – First All-Women-Crew to fly Helicopter, IAF – Fight Cadets Cheryl Dutta and Simran Sondhi
1997 – First Indian born to become an Astronaut – Dr. Kalpana Chawla
- The Indian Women Pilots’ Association was formed in 1967, to facilitate an exchange of experiences and ideas over the subcontinent, and over the world through the 99s. IWPA was registered under the society registration act in 1984.
- The IWPA has been promoting aviation for all, especially women, by giving scholarships for advanced flying training, encouraging school children, awarding trophies, organising seminars independently and with Aero Club and Aeronautical Society of India and felicitating outstanding women pilots of India and subcontinent.
- In 1997, with the efforts of IWPA, a permanent exhibition of India’s Aviation History and Space Technology was opened at the Pima Air & Space Museum, Arizona, USA. In the same year IWPA joined hands with Nehru Science Centre to start a UNIQUE project, an Aviation and Space Gallery, at their centre in Mumbai.
- Text : Based on materials supplied by Indian Women Pilots Association.