-Wing Commander (Retd) Anupama Joshi

From the place of temple chimes, look at this girl as she shines. 

If you watched the Republic Day 2022 parade, you’d have seen Flt Lt Shivangi Singh who was a part of the IAF tableau. The theme of this year’s IAF tableau was Indian Air Force, transforming for the future. She is the first woman fighter pilot of the Indian Air Force’s Rafale Squadron. 

It was an honour watching her be a part of the tableau, a moment that filled every Indian’s heart with pride and every young girl’s eyes with dreams.

Shivangi Singh was commissioned in 2017 as part of the second batch of IAF’s women fighter pilots. She flew MiG-21 Bisons since her commissioning and underwent conversion training, a mandatory training when a pilot switches from one aircraft type to another, to become a part of the Number 17 Squadron. Number 17 is the first Rafale squadron, also known as the Golden Arrows, based at Ambala.

It’s heartening that the IAF gave Shivangi a fair chance. I am so proud I donned the IAF blues, a service that shows that you can dream and live that dream.

-Wing Commander (Retd) Anupama Joshi

Flt Lt Shivangi Singh’s Childhood

Flt Lieutenant Shivangi hails from the Phulwariya area of Varanasi. Her father, Kumareshwar Singh is a businessman who runs the family business of tours and travels with her uncle Rajeshwar Singh. Her mother Seema Singh is a teacher and homemaker. Shivangi also has two younger brothers.


She was only a teen when her grandfather took her to the Air Force Museum in Delhi. After returning home, she couldn’t stop talking about planes, flight, and more than anything, the sight of women in uniform. It was this trip to Delhi with her grandfather that instilled the seeds of becoming a pilot in young Shivangi.

In Class VIII, she became very serious about academics. She scored more than 90% in both Class X and XII exams. After the results were announced, people would ask Shivangi about her plans for the future. My daughter would say, ‘I want to touch the sky.’

-Seema Singh (Flt. Lt. Shivangi’s Mother)

After she completed her schooling and graduation, Shivangi joined the 7 UP Air Squadron NCC at Banaras Hindu University to fulfil her childhood dream. She got selected through the Common Aptitude Test and went to the Air Force Academy for training in July 2016.

I am proud of her for scripting history. Her dedication and commitment towards her goals has brought her this great success.

-Kumareshwar Singh (Flt. Lt. Shivangi’s Father)

Now when the girls in her neighbourhood back home are asked what they want to be, they name Shivangi Singh. 

Flt Lt Shivangi Singh’s Inspiration

Flt Lt Shivangi considers the first women fighter pilots of the IAF – flying Officers Mohana Singh, Bhawana Kanth, and Avani Chaturvedi, who were inducted in 2016 – as her inspiration. 

It’s a privilege to be writing about Flt Lt Shivangi Singh, the first woman Rafale jet pilot. Filling our hearts with pride, see her fly away. She is the proof that dreams do come true.